BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards says more than 1.5 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Louisiana as of Tuesday, Aug. 11.
The governor made the announcement during a news conference Tuesday. More than 226,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed so far in August, he said.
Edwards also said hospitals in Louisiana are still feeling a strain from COVID-19 despite a decrease in patients over the last two weeks.
Officials with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) reported there were 1,335 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 as of Tuesday. Edwards says the state has made progress since there were more than 1,600 patients hospitalized less than three weeks ago.
The governor says 15 hospitals in the state are currently reporting no available beds in their intensive care units (ICU) which is down from 28 hospitals. See the governor’s full news conference below.
Edwards also says the state is currently working on guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor to implement President Donald Trump’s executive order which calls for an additional $400 in unemployment benefits.
Assistant LDH Secretary Dr. Alexander Billioux addressed the lower number of COVID-19 cases LDH reported Monday, Aug. 10.
Billioux said the lower than usual number of cases were attributed to the times in which labs had reported their data between Sunday and Monday. The testing data reported Monday was not from a 24-hour period like it usually is.
As of Tuesday, August 11, there were 133,125 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Louisiana, with 4,169 deaths.
News of both the BIG 10 and PAC-12 collegiate athletic conferences announced they were canceling their fall sports during Edwards’ news conference Tuesday.
When asked by a reporter if he thought it was safe for college football to be played in Louisiana this fall, Edwards declined to comment citing that it was too soon to speculate.
“We’ll have news on that, when we have news on that,” Edwards said.
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