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Edwards: Wear a mask

COVID-19 cases continue to climb
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Edwards: Wear a mask

If you’re interested in Louisiana’s further economic reopening, wear a mask.

That was the word from Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge across the state.

Though Edwards said he isn’t contemplating a statewide mask mandate, he urged Louisianans once again to wear masks, social distance and frequently wash their hands as their part of helping stop the spread of COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is probably more rampant in Louisiana today than it has ever been,” Edwards said during a Baton Rouge press conference that was also broadcast live on Facebook.

As of noon Wednesday, Louisiana Department of Health reported 70,151 cases of potentially fatal respiratory illness causes by the novel coronavirus. That’s approximately 27,000 more cases than LDH reported one month ago.

In Lincoln Parish, Wednesday’s tally was 366 — a 12-case jump from the previous day.

Both locally and statewide, the case counts are cumulative, meaning they date back to th beginning of recordkeeping in March. However, state officials say the number of new cases is still climbing at a fast clip.

“We have COVID cases rising everywhere across the state in a way we did not in March,” said Dr. Alex Billioux, Louisiana assistant secretary for health.

Ninety-five percent of the new cases have come from community spread, officials say. Louisiana is now ranked No. 5 nationwide in per capita cases of COVID-19.

“We have lost all the gains made in June and we are now seeing some numbers that rival our peaks back in May,” Edward said.

“We have a statewide epidemic.”

Louisiana remains in Phase Two of reopening because of the rising cases count. That order runs until July 24.