Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Gov. John Bel Edwards 'personally startled' by Tuesday COVID-19 case increase

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BATON ROUGE - Tuesday's announcement that Louisiana now has 5,237 cases of Coronavirus, a 1,212 case increase from Monday, was 'sobering' and 'personally startling' according to Gov. John Bel Edwards.

"Numbers like we're reporting today keep us on a very steep trajectory in terms of our case growth," Edwards said. "We know that puts us firmly on the path to exceeding our capacity to deliver healthcare."

Tuesday's numbers marked the largest single-day increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana since the outbreak began. Edwards says it shows there's a lot of work left to do.

"We need to surge our medical capacity and we need the public to engage in better practices related to social distancing and better compliance related to the stay-at-home order," Edwards said. 

Since March 26, the number of patients hospitalized with coronavirus across the state has doubled. The number of patients on ventilators has also doubled. 

As of March 30, 1,355 patients are hospitalized due to COVID-19 with 438 on ventilators. 

From Monday to Tuesday, cases in Louisiana saw a 30 percent increase. Edwards says the spike may be due in part to a large return of commercial lab tests.

"We had a log jam, so to speak, in getting those test results back," Edwards said. "It may be that the jam opened up, so we got a flood of tests in at one time."

LDH says 90 percent of Tuesday's cases were commercially tested.
Even with the steep rise in cases, Edwards says it will be a few more days before data will show if the stay-at-home order is working.


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