Louisiana tops per capita COVID-19 cases nationwide, hospitalizations plateaued

Louisiana tops per capita COVID-19 cases nationwide, hospitalizations plateaued
FULL VIDEO: Gov. Edwards holds COVID-19 news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2020

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - In the fight against Covid-19, it’s all about the numbers, and Governor John Bel Edwards announced Louisiana was number 1 again in the country per capita for Covid-19 cases.

“There’s no doubt in my mind we have more of this virus in Louisiana today and we’ve had at any point this far,” said Edwards. But despite ending a call with the White House prior to the briefing, and with the White House recommending that he add more restrictions, Governor Edwards announced no new restrictions for the state.

“We’ll continue watch those numbers and the decisions will be driven by the numbers in the science,” said Edwards.

“I don’t think it’s surprising and that we’re not in a knee-jerk reaction. Health educator Dr. Eric Griggs says the state is still waiting to see the results of Governor Edwards’ decision to close bars statewide.

“It’s part of the scientific process of data just because you see the cake rising in the oven doesn’t mean that it’s finished cooking on the inside so you can’t just take it out because someone said take it out you have to follow the process stay true to,” said Griggs.

“I do have confidence in what the governor’s office has been doing as far as the restrictions that are in place as well as the additional restrictions here in New Orleans,” said LCMC’s Dr. Jeffrey Elder.

Dr. Jeffrey Elder says the measures taken in the metro area seem to be paying off. Hospitalizations statewide have now plateaued, but in the metro area, Elder says they’ve actually increased slightly as they have more room to take on patients from the rest of the state.

“We’re seeing a little bit of an uptick I think that’s due to transfers and of course we’re happy to take care of those patients but overall we hope in our region and other parts of the state we continue to have this little bit of a plateau and hopefully we continue to see it go down,” said Elder.

More testing will soon come online both in Louisiana and the metro area.

“It’s sort of a pilot to see if you blanket a community with testing if you can see this positivity rates and turn this quicker than what otherwise be the case,” said Edwards.

Testing combined with social distancing and mask wearing has both state and hospital leaders hoping people can bring those numbers back down again.

“The sooner our orchestra all plays the same song wearing a mask and social distancing and more beautiful the sound will be,” said Griggs.

Starting July 29th, there will again be drive thru testing at the UNO Lakefront Arena.

This is a federal partner site. Edwards says the estimated turn around for those test results is five days.

He says they’re working and hoping to speed up that turnaround time.

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