Despite slump in testing, Gov. Edwards, LDH confident COVID-19 rates remain lowest of pandemic

Despite slump in testing, Gov. Edwards and LDH confident COVID-19 rates remain lowest of pandemic

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The testing sites run by the Louisiana Department of Health are largely quiet, which is a far cry from when they were first set up at the beginning of the pandemic.

Instead of having to wait in lines, you can get a swab in a matter of minutes. Since January, the peak of testing in Louisiana at 915,000 tests, rates have dropped off dramatically.

So far in March, about 509,000 tests have been given. Despite the slump, Dr. Joseph Kanter with LDH and Gov. John Bel Edwards say Louisiana is in a good spot and the numbers portray an accurate depiction of how much COVID is in Louisiana.

“When your testing volume goes down and your percent positivity shoots up, that tells you you’re not testing enough,” said Kanter. “That tells you there are cases out there you’re not catching. When you keep your percent positivity or even decrease as it did a couple weeks ago, it’s a pretty good bar that you’re still doing enough testing to get a pretty good sample.”

Kanter said testing has dropped since the winter storms that came through in February and have continued to decline as the case volume in the state has continued to go down.

He also addressed contact tracing. Naturally, fewer of you have been contacted but he noted the program is still successful in keeping track of how much of the virus is out there.

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