Coronavirus Updates: Louisiana staying in Phase 2; ‘We all need to do a better job’

The gist: In light of growing cases and hospitalizations, Gov. Edwards announced Monday he will not move Louisiana to the next phase of reopening. Rebounds across the state — and in Acadiana in particular — have frustrated the state’s efforts to keep the curve and forced the pause.

Here are the major data points: 

  • 50,239 cases in Louisiana; 3,004 deaths 
  • 3,865 cases in Acadiana (LDH Region 4); 198 deaths 
  • 1,440 cases in Lafayette Parish; 33 deaths 

Trend lines: Lafayette has added nearly 300 new cases in the last seven reported days. Hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the parish since June 10. 

Screenshot of hospitalization curve from Louisiana Department of Health

“We all need to do a better job,” Edwards said in his Monday briefing. Louisiana is one of 23 states, mostly in the South, currently in the throes of a rebound in cases. 

Hospitalizations, cases and Covid-like illnesses are increasing in Acadiana. LDH Region 4 was the only region seeing increases in all three “gating criteria” used by the governor to make reopening decisions

A rise in hospitalizations is the big concern. Hospitals reported upticks in Covid patients as recently as last week. Louisiana had driven down the number of hospitalized patients significantly since a peak of nearly 2,000 around Easter. Edwards indicated the rebound isn’t threatening to overwhelm hospital resources, but he cautioned that the trend needed to be nipped in the bud. 

Younger demographics are leading the surge. Corroborating reports from local health officials, reanimated social activity among young people — particularly college-aged kids — is driving the rise in cases. 

“The virus isn’t done with us,” Edwards said.