Edwards: State moving in right direction as positivity rate drops below 10 percent

Coronavirus

UPDATE: Louisiana has dropped below the 10% positivity rate this week, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards. The state has fallen to an overall average of 8.77%, he said.

Four of the state’s nine regions for the Louisiana Department of Health are below the 10%, as well, though no region has a positivity rating greater than 12%.

“I remind everyone that our gains are modest,” said Edwards. “They are certainly fragile and they can be lost.”

Hospitalizations are also at their lowest point in several weeks, all as 40 of Louisiana’s 69 school districts will have returned to school as of Friday, Aug. 21.

Edwards said a study done by Oschner Medical Center showed that of 2,100 people in a five-parish region around Baton Rouge tested for COVID-19 in a 15-day period in July, 60% of those who tested positive were asymptomatic. This, he said, creates the greatest challenge in managing the pandemic. If those numbers were extrapolated throughout that same area, it could mean as many as 10,000 people could be carrying the disease and be contagious.

Edwards said that the symptom most likely to correlate to a positive test was the loss of taste and smell.

Edwards also shared good news as far as the Title 32 cost-sharing for Louisiana National Guard operations. The state has been petitioning the federal government to decrease the state’s share of paying for National Guard activities. The original split was 75% to be paid by the federal government and 25% by the state. Edwards said that splot has now been changed to 90/10, and will save the state a significant amount of money.

Watch the full Aug. 20, 2020, press conference here:

ORIGINAL POST: BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY)- Gov. Edwards will hold a press briefing Thursday to address statewide COVID-19 mitigation.

News 10 will air the Aug. 20, 2020, press conference live:

On Tuesday, Edwards said he and state health officials are working with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and following the health department’s daily COVID-19 data in order to decide whether to further lift certain restrictions.

The governor is also expected to address his plan to block the Secretary of State’s emergency election plan.

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