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Elections reset, coronavirus cases still rising

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
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Gov. John Bel Edwards has postponed Louisiana’s presidential preference primary and spring municipal elections yet again because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Edwards’s decision came Tuesday at the request of Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin. The presidential primary, which had already been moved from April 4 to June, will now be held July 11.

The May 9 local elections, which had been rescheduled to July 25, have been bumped to Aug. 15. For Lincoln Parish voters, that means decisions on a Lincoln Parish School Board sales tax proposal and millage renewal for the Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1 won’t come up until August.

In his proclamation resetting the elections, Edwards said he made the move “to protect the health and safety of the voters of Louisiana.”

Meantime, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Lincoln Parish is still on the rise, as is the number of people tested locally for the disease.

The Louisiana Department of Health daily update released at noon Tuesday shows 42 confirmed cases in Lincoln Parish. That’s an increase of three cases over Monday’s number.

Swab tests done locally stand at 286.

Tuesday’s report still does not show the two parish deaths that local officials have attributed to COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Both the number of people stricken statewide with the virus and the number who have died also continues to increase. Tuesday’s statistics showed 21,518 confirmed cases and 1,013 deaths.

“That’s 1,013 people who are someone’s mother, father, sister, or brother or child or aunt or uncle. They are our neighbors, friends and coworkers. They are more than just a number on a report or graph, and as our fellow Louisianans, we all grieve alongside their families,” Edwards said in a press release.

“Our analysis shows that most deaths come 11.2 days after the onset of symptoms, which is why we must look at long-term data and trends.”

“It is also why it is incumbent upon our people to follow the Stayat-Home order, because just as the positive things we do now will save lives in the future, the negative things we do could threaten lives as well,” Edwards’ press released added.

Tuesday’s death count reflects 129 more deaths than those reported Monday, and is the largest reported in a single day since the COVID-19 outbreak began. But that doesn’t mean all of the additional deaths happened within the previous 24-hour period. Edwards said the new data shows Louisiana took a step back in the COVID-19 fight.

“The progress we made on slowing the spread is easily lost if people ignore the stayat-home mandate,” the governor tweeted.