BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Friday’s case count is not as drastic as Thursdays, but it is still very concerning.
The latest the Louisiana Department of Health update showed 10,297 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in the state. There have been 370 deaths statewide, and 61 of the state’s 64 parishes have confirmed cases. that is an increase of just 12 percent compared to the 42 percent jump the previous day.
Still, Edwards called the cases topping 10,000 a “grim milestone,” and noted that Louisiana has the highest death rate in the country from the coronavirus.
“But we are getting closer to the norm, because what we’re finding out is we actually have much more COVID in our state than we previously thought,” Edwards said.
“But we do have a higher death rate, and I suspect at the end of this, we’re gonna still have a higher death rate in those places, because we have underlying health problems in a larger proportion of our population, including chronic health conditions that make people especially vulnerable to this disease and make them more prone to succumbing to it, such as kidney disease, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, those sorts of things.”
It’s the reason Edwards once again is urging citizens to observe social distancing guidance and take the coronavirus pandemic seriously.
“For those of you who are not taking the crisis seriously, I’m asking you to do a better job. “The life that you save could be your own.”
The governor also pointed Friday to modeling data showing the state is on course to require 2,500 new hospitalizations a day in the New Orleans area by mid-May if the public does not adhere to COVID-19 mitigation measures like his stay at home order.
He also urged small businesses that need relief to immediately apply for SBA loans if they haven’t already.
“Time really is of the essence because there is a finite amount that was appropriated by Congress and signed into law a week ago today. Although it’s a large amount, $350 billion, it is finite and I think as you see more businesses around the country apply for these loans, that amount is gonna dwindle down.”
The governor also announced that he has signed a proclamation to ensure high school seniors and current post-secondary students are able to meet requirements to be eligible for TOPS and extending the ACT qualifying score deadline to Sept. 30.
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