story by staff reporter Nora Drenner
In his weekly news conference, Wednesday, July 8, Gov. John Bel Edwards said the state is going in the opposite direction regarding COVID-19, describing the situation a statewide epidemic as cases are increasing in all regions.
Additionally, Gov. Edwards attributed the dramatic rise in cases to community spread and noted the surge began Memorial Day weekend. “We have lost all the gains made in June and are seeing some numbers that rival the peak in April,” said Gov. Edwards.
Furthermore, said Gov. Edwards, while testing has increased, labs are lagging in getting test results. He cited in some cases it is taking 14 days or longer for a person to receive a positive or negative test result. Therefore, Gov. Edwards encouraged all who are tested to self -quarantine while waiting for results. In addition, he said those exposed to the virus and receive a negative test should still quarantine for 14 days citing it could take longer for symptoms to appear.
Gov. Edwards also said he talked to 20 hospital CEOs and medical directors from around the state, and that most of those administrators reported increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
And, said Gov. Edwards those hospital admins are having issues with staffing, testing, and access to treatments, and there has been a change in the demographics of patients, saying they tended to be younger, white, and male.