Coronavirus in Louisiana: Gov. Edwards gives update on COVID-19 response

Coronavirus

BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Governor John Bel Edwards will give his latest update on Louisiana’s response to COVID-19 on Wednesday afternoon during a press briefing.

As Louisiana enters the first phase of the plan for reopening, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser on Wednesday announced 18 State Parks, all 18 State Historic Sites, and all 9 State Museum buildings will reopen starting this weekend under the new guidelines.

Nungesser made the announcement during Gov. John Bel Edward’s latest briefing on the status of the coronavirus in Louisiana and the state’s response.

Three state parks designated to house those who may be or have tested positive for the coronavirus and cannot go home for risk of exposing others will remain closed to the public for now. Edwards said each of the parks, including Lake Bistineau State Park, have people staying in them now that just arrived on Wednesday.

During phase one of the governor’s Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana plan, all welcome centers will remain closed; however, those with exterior doors to restrooms will have 24-hour restrooms available.

Wednesday’s briefing comes as the latest update of COVID-19 data by the Louisiana Department of Health shows the number of new cases reported statewide more than double those reported Tuesday. In a statement, the LDH said 317 of the 612 new cases reported Wednesday are from labs that are new to reporting.

Edwards also said Wednesday that more reopening guidance is forthcoming from the state fire marshal and the LDH for businesses through opensafely.la.gov

Meanwhile, the governor said, efforts to ramp up testing and contact tracking remain on track. Edwards has said the state has set a goal to complete at least 200,000 tests in May. More than 2,000 applications came in within the 24 hours following the announcement of plans last week to hire as many as 700 contract tracers.

Testing will be focused on what Edwards called “areas of inadequate testing” and congregant settings such as nursing homes around the state.

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