LAFAYETTE, La. — For the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is sharing how many people they believe have recovered from the virus inside the state.
According to LDH, there have been 14,927 presumed recoveries.
Up to this point, the statistics provided were the number of cases and deaths in Louisiana. Many people asked how many people recovered, and from now on that data point will be updated once per week.
“In this process, we need to be as transparent as possible,” said U.S. Senator for Louisiana Bill Cassidy during the Governor’s press conference.
Before Friday, 94% of COVID-19 cases were a mystery. 1,601 people or 6% of the total 26,140 cases ended in death, but a new statistic of “presumed recoveries” added to the LDH website sheds light on over half of the people who tested positive with the virus.
“It is an estimate and the number being reported today 14,927,” explained Governor John Bel Edwards.
The total of recovered Louisianians is presumed under two criteria:
If it has been two full weeks since someone tested positive and he or she is not currently in the hospital or deceased, that person is now presumed positive.
The same is true if it has been three weeks since a person tested positive and he or she has not died.
Governor Edwards shared LDH started developing this data to be more transparent and give the state a more accurate snapshot of the coronavirus fight.
“And I’m really glad to get to that number because for a long time I only knew of one recovery, remarked Edwards speaking of his secretary of transportation Shawn Wilson.”
While there are no recovery numbers by parish or by region, local leaders voiced their appreciation.
“This is a very encouraging sign,” said Josh Guillory, Lafayette’s Mayor-President. “The statewide statistics are helpful in gaging where we are in our infection cycle.”
A cycle where most are recovering, but the Governor reminded still a large number are not, “I pray that never do our health disparities get exposed again the way it’s happening in this particular pandemic because this exposure for too many people means death.”
Some of the biggest differences in those who have a good or bad outcome are certain health conditions, so officials are asking those with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart disease or kidney disease to be especially careful.