Gov. Edwards: 'logjam' in testing responsible for this week's daily COVID-19 case spikes
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana saw its highest day-to-day coronavirus case increase Thursday. 2,726 new cases were reported, bringing the state's overall total to 9,150.
Gov. John Bel Edwards says the reason behind Thursday's spike is the same reason we saw steady increases Tuesday and Wednesday.
"The current increase in cases appears to be less a sign of exponential growth over the last couple of days and more a sign of a logjam for commercial labs that have developed over a long period of time," Edwards said.
Of Thursday's new cases, 95 percent came from commercial testing labs. Many of those tests were administered several days ago.
"With private testing, those labs have greatly exceeded their capacity in terms of the tests they've taken in," Edwards said. "And they're actually waiting to run through their labs."
With the majority of new cases coming from private labs, which include drive-thru testing sites, Edwards says there is some good news in those figures.
"Those people are not so sick that they have to be in the hospital in the first instance," Edwards said. "So it's much more likely that those individuals don't have to go to the hospital to deal with this particular disease."
In terms of Thursday's cases, that is exactly the case.
"The vast majority of those people who are COVID positive pursuant to today's report, do not require hospitalization and they've already been told by their physician(s) that they were COVID positive," Edwards said. "And they've been in isolation for some time now."
As the state's case count grows each day, officials are looking more at hospitalizations and deaths to determine the trajectory for the state's healthcare capacity.
As for the case numbers, Edwards says only time will tell if daily spikes similar to those seen throughout this week will continue. He says it depends on when the state receives test results.
"At some point they're going to come through," Edwards said. "Whether they come through in a uniform amount everyday, or whether there's an exceptionally large number of results that come through in a single day, we don't really know. So until we come out here and tell you what that day's report is, we don't really know what to expect." But we think that's going to continue to happen."