Gov. John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Governor John Bel Edwards was pleased with the effort from Louisiana's legislative bodies in working through the novel coronavirus and passing a budget before July 1.

On the other hand, he again expressed concern with the direction of the state and it's fight against COVID-19.

Edwards said that he had been in contact with the White House's Federal Task Force, and they have voiced their own concerns to see Louisiana returning to a similar trend it realized in April and early May.

Specifically, Dr. Deborah Birx warned the governor that if Louisiana continued they would once again be threatening the ability to deliver healthcare. While that number is, as of now, far - the governor added that all of the drop in hospitalizations experienced in early June have been wiped out.

Louisiana had over 2,000 hospitalizations during the height of the pandemic.

Edwards has called a press conference for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, wherein he will discuss future possibilities for restrictions for Louisiana to battle COVID-19. In the middle of the press conference, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry addressed the governor via Twitter - asking him to read carefully the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal regarding the case of Mark Anthony Spell (Life Tabernacle Church) and the governor himself.

Landry did have the wrong Twitter handle for the governor.

While the 5th Circuit found the ruling to be moot, since the governor had expanded allowances in both Phase 1 and 2, Landry alluded to the ruling in case the governor would revert back to previous phases after not moving into Phase 3.

"We didn't meet the metrics," the governor said about moving from Phase 2 to Phase 3, "they were metrics established by the (White House's) Federal Task Force."

The governor also said that the phrase 'mandatory masks' had been discussed with him directly by the federal task force, with members suggesting masks be mandatory in certain political subdivisions wherein growth of COVID-19 metrics - including cases, COVID-like symptoms, and hospitalizations were prevalent. 

Louisiana reported more than 1,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday as hospitalizations and ventilator usage continued their recent rise, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.

As of Tuesday, officials are now reporting 58,095 total COVID-19 cases to date, an increase of 1,014 from the previous day. That’s the third time since June 23 that the state has confirmed at least 1,000 new cases in a single day.

The statewide COVID-19 death toll increased by 22 overnight to reach 3,113 total fatalities. The state is also reporting 113 “probable” deaths from the novel coronavirus.

According to the Department of Health, there have been 42,225 “presumed” recoveries, an increase of 2,433 from last week.

COVID-19 hospitalizations continued their upward trajectory, rising by a staggering 44 overnight to reach 781. Hospitalizations have increased in 11 of the Department of Health’s last 14 updates. Since June 14, COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased by 239.

Ventilator usage rose by four on Tuesday to reach 83 statewide.

According to officials, Louisiana has now conducted approximately 728,511 COVID-19 tests either through the state lab (35,518) or commercial labs (692,993). That puts Tuesday’s positivity rate at 4 percent off of 23,874 new tests, better than the state’s goal of 10 percent.

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