MONROE, La. (03/03/2020) — The number of coronavirus cases is on the rise across The United States with the number of deaths at nine people and the total number of cases well over a hundred according to the Associated Press. Tuesday, rumors circulated that a local hospital was dealing with a case of the virus here in Monroe. However, KTVE/KARD reached out to the hospital and the Louisiana Department of Health, who confirmed there is no case of the coronavirus in Monroe or Louisiana.
This all comes only a day after Governor John Bel Edwards says the state is prepping for any potential cases. However, if Louisiana is to develop a case, testing for the virus will be done in Baton Rouge at the Public Health state lab. Officials there say it takes about four hours to run the test and results can be completed within a day.
“If you’re at one of the four corners furthest away from the lab, all that transport time will be taken into consideration, but certainly within 24 hours we would be able to get a result back from that test,” said Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Health, Dr. Alex Billioux.
Officials say the test is intended for use with upper and lower respiratory specimens from someone who meets the CDC criteria for coronavirus testing. As health leaders wait for a coronavirus case, having the test in the state they say will help healing happen faster.
President Donald Trump is also speaking out at the federal level saying that he too is working for a cure and has been speaking to big-box drug companies for help.
“We’re moving aggressively to accelerate the process of developing a vaccine. A lot of good things are happening and they’re happening very fast. I said, do me a favor, speed it up, speed it up, and they will. They’re working really hard and quick, and we’re moving at a maximum speed to develop the therapies. Uh, not only the vaccines, but the therapies. Therapies is sort of another word for cure.”President Donald Trump
Governor Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health want to make sure that everyone stays calm and makes sure they’re only getting information from the Department of health.