The Louisiana Dept. of Health is reporting more than 116,000 cases of Coronavirus in the state.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said last week that if the state does not comply with the Phase 2 restrictions in place, it could slip back into Phase 1 or even Phase 0.
“No matter how you slice it up, these death numbers are troubling,” Edwards said.
As of Friday, July 31, LDH reported the following cases of COVID-19 statewide.
· 116,280 positive cases
· 3,835 deaths
· 1,546 patients in hospitals
· 222 patients on ventilators
· 74,246 recovered (as of July 27)
“What we’re dealing with is a very serious problem, a very wide problem,” the governor said. The disease has had an impact on every community in the state.
When the state hits milestones like 100,000 positive cases it “should be a reality check that we are in a public health emergency, not just one that has been declared by myself.”
The governor stressed again that universal compliance for use of face coverings, social distancing and hand washing can prevent the state from moving back to Phase 1 or even Phase 0. No parishes are allowed an exemption to the mask mandate. Every parish has reached more than 100 positive cases per 100,000 in population over two weeks.
“We are at a critical point,” Edwards said. “I don’t want to go back to Phase 1, but the only thing that’s going to keep us from doing that is have everybody wear a mask when you’re outside your home. It’s a small price to pay.”
Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge is halting elective surgeries. The chief medical officer for Lafayette General Hospital said they have had to send patients to different parishes and even Mississippi.
The regions in Lafayette, Southwest Louisiana and Central Louisiana.
Currently half of the intensive care unit beds at Lafayette General Hospital are occupied with COVID-19 patients and more than 30% are in non-ICU beds.
Doctors said they expected a second wave of COVID-19, but just not this early. They said some hospitals are starting to see people in their late teens and early 20s in ICU with COVID-19.
Edwards said state employees are being tested. He was tested today.
Edwards also said that people who are spreading rumors about the LDH counting people who get multiple tests as more than one positive case are wrong. He called it a “deliberate misinformation campaign.”
Hospitals are also facing a nursing shortage. They asked any nurses who might be out of work to contact hospitals to see if they can help during the pandemic.
Masks are required for anyone 8 years-old and above unless a health condition prohibits you from wearing one. Indoor social gatherings will be limited to 50 people.
Churches and essential businesses can still operate under the Phase 2 guidelines meaning more than 50 people will be allowed inside.
In Orleans Parish, no more than 25 people are allowed to gather inside.
Masks will be be required outdoors when you can not social distance from others.
These restrictions will remain in place until at least Aug. 7.
The Louisiana Department of Health updates its website most days at noon.