Coronavirus continues to spread in Lousiana
A day after the largest increase in COVID-19 cases in more than two months, the number of confirmed cases in Louisiana increases by another 882, according to figures released by the Louisiana Department of Health on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the LDH reported the highest single-day increase since April 7 with 1,356 new cases. Deaths also increased by 17 to 3,021; hospitalizations were up by 16 to 646; and patients on ventilators increased by 14 to 83 since the Monday figures were released.
All of this all came a day after Gov. John Bel Edwards announced alarming trends across most of the state that prevented him from moving to Phase Three of reopening on Friday.
Tuesday’s report brought the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 51,595. Wednesday’s increase upped that total to 52,477. The 18 additional deaths on Wednesday brings the Louisiana total to 3,039 since March.
The vast majority of the recent increase in case growth, according to LDH, is tied to community spread rather than congregate settings like nursing homes.
In terms of timeline, the specimen collection date of 97 percent of these cases ranges from June 15 to June 23, meaning the increase was not tied to a backlog.
The percent positivity of test results reported to the state is 7.6 percent; the federal goal is to keep this figure below 10 percent.
On Wednesday’, LDH reported that 631 people were hospitalized (down 15 from Tuesday) and, of those, 77 required ventilators (down six from Tuesday).
In Acadia Parish, 21 new cases were reported on Wednesday, compared to 36 documented on Tuesday. That brought the total number of confirmed cases in the parish to 726, with 35 deaths, up one since Tuesday.
“We are quite concerned by (Tuesday’) COVID-19 numbers and the overall direction we are moving in,” said Dr. Alex Billioux, assistant secretary of the Office of Public Health. “What we are seeing appears to be connected to increased movement, a lot of which is probably related to further reopening of the economy and at least some individuals not adhering to recommended precautions.
“We are seeing significant COVID-19 spread related to people congregating in groups with little to no social distancing or masking. The largest increase in cases is among young adults.”
“We know many Louisianans are doing the right thing — and we thank them for it. As the governor said, this is a deadly, highly contagious virus. It does not take many of us slipping up to spread quickly,” added Dr. Courtney Phillips, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health.
“Just because we are in Phase 2 does not mean there is no risk involved when we go out in public.”
“As more businesses open and more people leave their homes, it is more important now than ever to protect ourselves and others by masking up and staying 6 feet apart,” said Kimberly Robinson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue. “If you are walking into a business and you see others who are not wearing masks, you should walk right back out. From the person who collects the state’s money, I’m telling you to let your wallet talk.”
Employees are required to wear masks to protect patrons. LDH recommends against going to establishments where staff are not masking and advises patrons to wear masks to protect staff.