Governor John Bel Edwards made phone calls today to residents of Louisiana emphasizing the importance of mitigation measures.
There are 21,951 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana.
In good news: The number of individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19 and the number of patients on ventilators is down.
“Overall, we believe we are moving in a better direction in terms of our case growth,” Governor Edwards said.
1,396 Louisiana National Guardsmen are working on COVID-19 missions, including packaging food at food banks and delivering items of PPE to every parish in Louisiana.
Gov. Edwards thanks Tito's Vodka for their donation of 72 gallons of hand cleanser, 1500 masks and 1000 gloves.
“That may not have been what people were hoping Tito's Vodka would donate to the state,” Edwards said.
“We have an estimated recovery population of 7,044,” Edwards said.
“We’ve done a Herculean job of really turning around what was the fastest growth rate in the world in order to flatten the curve,” Edwards said. However, Governor Edwards warns that a spike could arise at any moment.
Gov. Edwards said the public will not return to the normal they used to know until there is a vaccine.
While he believes that Zoom is a good alternative, the governor said it doesn’t compare to classroom learning.
“We’re trying to make the very best of what is not an ideal situation,” Edwards said.
“It’s not too early to start looking at what school looks like next school year because we’re not going to have the vaccine in place,” Edwards said.
“Nobody should have to decide between exercising their right to vote and endangering their health,” Gov. Edwards said on the postponement of Louisiana’s presidential primary.
Gov. Edwards says that if football season returns in the fall, it may not look like it used to, with every other seat being sold or fans exiting the game in waves to avoid close contact.
Governor John Bel Edwards says Louisiana reported 129 deaths in the past 24 hours. This is the highest number of deaths in a 24 hour period.
"On average death comes 11.2 days after the onset of symptoms," said Edwards.
Gov. Edwards says todays test count was 10,331. This is the largest number of tests Louisiana has administered in a 24 hour period.
Gov. Edwards announced that the June 20, 2020 Presidential Preference Primary election is postponed to July 11, 2020. The July 25, 2020 election is postponed until August 15, 2020.
Gov. Edwards says the numbers are lower than projected because of the mitigation measures. He says Louisianan's must continue practicing these measures for positive impact on the state.
Gov. Edwards says social distancing and wearing a mask is going to be a new normal for some period of time.
Gov. Edwards announced that out of the 1.8 billion being received from the federal government, 45 percent will go to the local government and 55 percent will go to the state.
Gov. John Bel Edwards addresses the tornadoes that damaged 5 parishes in North Louisiana at the COVID-19 daily briefing: "We have about 8,000 structures in Ouachita Parish without power right now."
"I was personally struck by how much damage we saw today in Ouachita Parish...These tornadoes have a mind of their own," said Edwards.
"They do continue to be encouraging," said Edwards discussing the growth rate of the COVID-19 cases state-wide that are "trending in the right direction."
"I've received reports that the people of Louisiana, over the Easter weekend, did not take social distancing as seriously as they should have...I'm encouraging everyone to get back to taking this very seriously," said Edwards.
Louisiana now has a D rating in social distancing because "there are too many people running around" according to Edwards.
Edwards reported that 60% of COVID-19 deaths are African Americans, 30% are white and 8.8% are unknown.
LSU Health Shreveport just released convalescent plasma therapy to a critically ill COVID-19 patient. It uses plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat those infected with the virus.
"I'm encouraging people across the state of Louisiana to be patient, to be mindful of the stay at home order, to be mindful of social distancing, wearing a mask when you are out in public," said Edwards.
Congressman Steve Scalise has been added to the Advisory Council where he will be working with President Trump to reopen the economy. “I think that’s helpful for our state to have someone on that council,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.
Gov. Edwards reported 581 new cases, 22,532 cases total with 53 new deaths for a total of 1,156. These results are reported from over 4600 tests showing an 8% positive test result feedback.
“We are in a better place today because people in Louisiana took seriously the stay-at-home order...It is really paying off,” said Gov. Edwards.
“We are not transmitting COVID the way we would if those measures were not in place,” said Edwards.
Gov. Edwards says the number of people in the hospital, on ventilators and dying is lower than originally predicted. Governor Edwards attributes this to the mitigation measures and social distancing.
“Those numbers all refer to individuals in Louisiana” said Edwards encouraging Louisiana residents to remember that these cases are neighbors, friends, family and real people suffering with the virus.
Gov. Edwards announced that Walmart is partnering with Louisiana to facilitate testing in Caddo Parish and St. John the Baptist Parish.
“Life as we know it has been altered” said Edwards announcing the creation of the Resilient Louisiana Commission that is going to create a comprehensive game plan to help the economy while protecting public health.
“Especially here in Louisiana, we’ve always had that tradition as a congressional delegation of working well together through crisis to get the state through it,” said Congressman Steve Scalise on bi-partisan response to COVID19.
“We are not picking a choice between safety and economic recovery. We can do both, and we have to do both,” said Scalise on plans to reopen the economy.
Over 17,000 businesses in Louisiana have qualified for the Paycheck Protection Program implemented by Congress. However, today that program ran out of money and stopped accepting applications. Scalise says Congress is working with President Trump for more funding.
“When we come back, it’s probably going to be at a gradual pace where people are taking extra precautions,” said Scalise.
Scalise says he talked to Coach O about desiring a full stadium: “He wants to be back out in Tiger Stadium, and he doesn’t want it to be an empty Tiger Stadium.”
Gov. Edwards in response to hurricane preparedness: “We are going to have multiple shelters so that we can social distance in the shelters.”
“We learn more about this virus, we learn more about its transmission, we learn more about this disease every single day...that’s why things are not going to look just like they did before,” said Edwards.
Edwards says an announcement is coming soon about how the economy will reopen.
Edwards in response to wide-spread testing: “We are not going to wait until we have the testing we want in order to make changes to the orders that are in place right now.”
Dr. Billoux: The LSU Veterinary School was able to process clinical samples, and LSU Shreveport was able to develop their own samples and able to do a high volume of tests.
“You’ve got to start taking those precautions now to figure out how to live with COVID19 in society, but while also being safer to confront it,” said Scales on a COVID19 resurgence in the fall.
Dr. Billoux: Demands for testing sights in urban areas such as Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and Lafayette.
“You cant keep the economy closed for 6 months or til 2024. There will be no economy left,” said Scalise.
Edwards avoided comment on Tony Spell at Life Tabernacle Church stating that he is not aware of any investigation.
Prior to COVID19, Louisiana had the 4th fastest growing economy in the country.