Maggie Tregre/The Lion's Roar
The state of Louisiana is set to move on to phase three starting Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced during a news conference on Thursday, Sept. 10.
With a plan to reveal more information on Friday, Sept. 11, Edwards explained that he made this decision based on a positive trend in COVID-19 data.
“What I’m prepared to say today is that data is positive enough that we will be going into phase three tomorrow,” stated Edwards.
Edwards mentioned that as the state moves into phase three, it does not mean that all safety guidelines are being lifted completely.
“What we do know is that if we want to be successful and not have to move back, we are not going to take a chance and not have the capacity in our hospitals to render life-saving care,” explained Edwards. “If we don’t want to go backwards, we do need everybody to understand phase three is not a lifting of all restrictions. It’s not some announcement that COVID is no longer in Louisiana.”
He also commented on the effects of Hurricane Laura on the spread of the virus within the state.
“I am mindful, and everybody else should be too, that we had 17 more school districts come online this week,” said Edwards. “We’ve had Hurricane Laura, which has taken thousands of people from southwest Louisiana and sent them across the state to be sheltered, and I’m mindful that that area had the highest percent positivity in the state at the time Laura hit.”
As of Sept. 10, the Louisiana Department of Health reported a total of 155,419 positive cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana with 762 hospitalized patients.
Edwards said that he will release more information about phase three operations on Friday.