Gov. Edwards discusses coronavirus in Thursday morning press conference


BATON ROUGE, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to announce his decision regarding the state’s reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference Thursday morning.

Set for 10:30 a.m., the press conference will be live streamed on the governor’s Facebook page and can also be viewed on his website, Secretary of Energy

The governor’s press conference will come less than 24 hours before his current Phase Two order expires on Friday, Sept. 11. Louisiana has been in Phase Two of reopening since early June.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Edwards said he had not yet decided whether the state would move forward in its reopening plan or stay put, citing a need to meet with his state health team and the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

“[The decision] will be based on the data and on the recommendations from the White House as to how we proceed,” said Edwards, who met with his team Tuesday afternoon and was scheduled for a call with the White House sometime Wednesday.

Louisiana entered Phase Two on June 5 and has been stuck there ever since. The latest extension marked the fourth time Edwards renewed his Phase Two order, following a four-week extension in June, a two-week in July, and a three-week extension in early August.

In addition to other Phase Two restrictions, Edwards implemented a statewide mask mandate in mid-July along with a ban of on-site consumption at bars and a 50-person limit on social gatherings.

Since the governor’s statewide mask mandate went into effect, average daily case counts, positivity rate, and hospitalizations have all gone down, according to figures from the Louisiana Department of Health.

To advance in the White House’s “Open Up American Again” plan, vetted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a state must see decreases in reported COVID-like symptoms, cases, and hospitalizations over a 14-day period.

As of Wednesday, Louisiana is reporting 154,955 COVID-19 cases; 140,440 recoveries; 4,970 COVID-19 related deaths; and 1,999,027 tests.

In Livingston Parish, there have been 3,514 cases; 35,790 tests; and 69 deaths.

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