Gov. Edwards expresses concern as hospitalizations, positivity rate continue to rise


BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Gov. John Bel Edwards said Friday that he is concerned about the upward trend in the number of hospitalizations for the coronavirus seen over the last several days in Louisiana.

“Four of the last five days, we have seen increased hospitalizations,” Edwards said during an early afternoon briefing on preparations for Hurricane Delta. “This is something we’re going to continue to watch closely. Obviously, we can’t afford to threaten our ability to deliver life-saving care in our hospitals, especially as we enter the flu season.”

Edwards also said the state’s positivity rate has been “inching up” over the last seven to days.

“And that, too, is very concerning. We are going to keep our eyes on that information and hopefully see them begin to improve in the very near future.”

The governor added that there is no doubt in his mind that these numbers will begin to decline again if enough people follow all of the mitigation measures and restrictions that are in place.

LDH data show 582 patients hospitalized with coronavirus statewide as of Thursday, October 8, which is the most recent data available. Of those, 78 were on mechanical ventilators.

The number of patients hospitalized in Region 7 also continues to rise and as of Thursday was reported to be 199, with 13 on mechanical ventilators.

The latest update comes one day after Edwards announced Phase 3 coronavirus restrictions would be extended through November 6. The restrictions had been set to expire Friday if Edwards didn’t act.

Louisiana reported just 265 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, but the state’s department of health says that is because fewer tests were reported due to Hurricane Delta.

The new cases reported Friday bring the cumulative number of cases statewide to 170,878. The state also reported 26 more deaths Friday, bringing the total statewide to 5,442.

Also according to the LDH:

  • Because of the daily removal of newly identified duplicates and out of state cases, the new case increase may not match the difference between today’s and yesterday’s total case count.
  • The collection dates for most of these cases fall between October 1 and October 8, 2020.
  • 91% of the cases reported to the state today were community spread.
  • 9% of the cases reported to the state today were in congregate settings.
  • People aged 29 and under represent 39% of these cases. 21% are individuals between 18-29.
  • Since Thursday, 9,872 new tests have been reported to the state, bringing the total number of tests to 2,447,559.

NWLA numbers

The total number of confirmed cases in Northwest Louisiana has risen to 18,558 and there are now 668 deaths reported in the region.

Of the 49 new cases reported since Thursday, 13 were in Claiborne Parish. Caddo and Bossier repoted ten each. Bienville and Natchitoches reported five new cases each, Red River three, De Soto two, and Sabine one. Webster did not report any new cases.

As of midday, the LDH was reporting the following data on confirmed cases, deaths, and testing in Region 7:

  • Caddo  – 9,117 case(s)  |  373 death(s)  |  668 state tests  | 161,999 commercial tests
  • Bossier  –  3,534 case(s)  |  110 death(s)  | 303 state tests  | 68,021 commercial tests
  • De Soto  – 944 case(s)  |  35 death(s)  |  99 state tests  | 14,182 commercial tests
  • Webster  –  1,351 case(s)  | 30 death(s)  | 181 state tests  |  23,190 commercial tests
  • Claiborne  –  560 case(s)  |  23 death(s)  |  246 state tests  | 9,263 commercial tests
  • Bienville  –  525 case(s)  |  33 death(s)  |  363 state tests  | 9,948 commercial tests
  • Natchitoches  –  1,255 case(s)  |  26 death(s)  | 701 state tests  | 17,389 commercial tests
  • Sabine  –  900 case(s)  | 14 death(s)  |  232 state tests  | 12,610 commercial tests
  • Red River  –  372 case(s)  |  24 death(s)  | 596 state tests  | 3,853 commercial tests

ArkLaTex numbers

There are now 30,726 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the ArkLaTex and 1,040 deaths reported.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up within weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and be life-threatening.


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