Gov. Edwards: Mardi Gras caused many cases of coronavirus in New Orleans area

Updated: Mar. 24, 2020 at 5:55 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Governor John Bel Edwards believes that Mardi Gras had a lot to do with the number of coronavirus cases in the New Orleans metro area.

The first confirmed case in the state of Louisiana who tested positive did so 13 days after Fat Tuesday and did so in the New Orleans area, and if you look at how long it takes from exposure and people becoming symptomatic that's the period of time that you are talking about between two and three weeks.

“I happen to believe that people coming from all over the country and over the world that a fair amount of virus was seeded if that's the word,” Edwards said.

He said the impact of self-isolating will likely take weeks to show up.

With an incubation period of up to two weeks for the virus, many may spread it before they feel symptoms.


The governor explained numbers will continue to rise significantly and the effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus will take time to show up.

Edwards said conversations about easing restrictions that have hammered the national economy are too soon for his state. He is asking the White House to declare a major disaster in his state to free up more direct federal aid to cope with the surging coronavirus outbreak.

Edwards is warning that the New Orleans area could run out of hospital beds by April 4.

The Democratic governor’s request to President Donald Trump comes as the number of people in Louisiana confirmed to have COVID-19 surged to nearly 1,400 on Tuesday.

The state health department says 46 Louisiana residents have died.

Copyright 2020 WVUE with contribution from The Associated Press. All rights reserved.