Gov. Edwards calls decrease in COVID-19 cases a ‘modest and sustained improvement’ but more work needs to be done

Gov. Edwards updates state on COVID-19 response

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards called the decrease in COVID-19 cases in Louisiana over the last week a “modest and sustained improvement,” during a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 18.

The Louisiana Department of Health reported 644 new cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana Tuesday.

Edwards said the state’s percent positivity rate for the virus had dropped below 10% to 9.4%.

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Dr. Debora Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force told Edwards during a call before the briefing Louisiana is “no longer in the red,” in regards to the positivity rate, he said.

However, the governor said Louisiana is still in the red in terms of cases that are developing every day because the state still has a high incidence of COVID-19.

On Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported an additional 753 cases of COVID-19 across the state and 19 new deaths. Over 1,200 people remain hospitalized, with about 184 of those patients needing ventilators.

State leaders say mitigation measures are working to stop the spread of the virus, but the gains are fragile.

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