BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is renewing his plea for businesses to move to remote work for as many employees as possible as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge across the state.
“Limiting the number of people in an office setting not only helps to slow the spread of COVID, it also ensures that employees remain healthy and productive,” Edwards said in a video message shared Thursday on his official Facebook and Twitter accounts. “So let’s put the technology we have to use by doing more work from home in order to keep our families, co-workers, and neighbors safe.”
Edwards first made the plea on Jan. 12, the same day he extended the state’s Phase 2 mitigation measures for another 28 days.
The Louisiana Department of Health reported 3,856 new cases and 59 more deaths from COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the total cases statewide to 378,318 and deaths to 8,442. Of the new cases reported since Wednesday, the LDH says 2,693 are confirmed and 1,163 are probable.
According to the latest data available, the number of patients in the hospital statewide with COVID-19 have dropped to 1,800, with 233 are on ventilators. The data show hospitalizations statewide reaching an all-time high on Jan. 7 at 2,069. In Northwest Louisiana, hospitalizations have also continued an overall decline since peaking at an all-time high at 2,069 Jan. 7, dropping to 313 as of Wednesday.
Of the 638 new confirmed and probable cases reported in Northwest Louisiana since Wednesday, 280 were in Caddo Parish, where a total of 21,545 cases have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic. An additional death was also reported in the parish, bringing the total to 587.
Bossier Parish reported 127 new cases and one new death. Webster added 58 new cases, Natchitoches 51, De Soto 47, Bienville 41, Sabine 19, and Claiborne 15. Webster and Natchitoches all also added one new death each.
There are now 47,592 COVID-19 cases reported in Region 7 and 1,207 deaths. Across the ArkLaTex, there are now 76,106 cases and 2,008 deaths.
If you have a fever or cough, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away.