Capital Area parishes meeting state testing goals
BATON ROUGE - As a part of the state's comprehensive COVID-19 testing plan for May and June that's being submitted to the federal government Saturday, parishes in the capital area are meeting the necessary requirements.
The plan focuses on increasing testing across the state, especially in areas and communities, like congregant settings, where the risk of COVID-19 is high.
The four-part plan includes four goals:
- Increase baseline testing by 100,000 in May. As of Thursday, the state was roughly 13,000 tests away from that mark.
- Test 4 percent of the state's population, per capita, monthly. In May, the state expects to test 4.3 percent of the population, thanks to a monthly goal of 200,000 tests. As of Thursday, 186,776 tests had been administered in May.
- Have the state's positivity rate of tests at 10 percent or lower. Currently, Louisiana's positivity rate is 11.1 percent.
- Test 2 percent of the population in each parish by June.
Governor John Bel Edwards says regardless of how many COVID-19 hospitalizations or deaths a parish has, testing will create a clearer picture of where the virus remains.
"Right now we have 41 parishes that are above 4 percent," Edwards said. "20 parishes are between 2 and 3.9 percent. There are three parishes below 2 percent, but they are making steady progress."
In the Greater Baton Rouge area, all parishes have met the 2 percent testing threshold. Ascension, Iberville and West Baton Rouge Parishes have all tested at least 4 percent of their populations, respectively. East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes have tested between 2 and 3.9 percent of their parishes, respectively, as well.
The three parishes that haven't met the minimum are Beauregard, Cameron and Vernon Parishes.
But even as many parishes are testing their fair share of residents, Edwards says testing must continue past May and 'Phase One' for the state to keep a grasp on COVID-19.
"Whether we go to phase two or not, understand that COVID-19 is here," Edwards said. "The virus is alive and well. It is still circulating in our state and in every community in our state. It remains contagious. It remains deadly."