Gov. Edwards encouraged by state data as Phase 2 decision nears

Gov. John Bel Edwards during a press conference on May 27, 2020.
Gov. John Bel Edwards during a press conference on May 27, 2020.(KNOE)
Published: May. 27, 2020 at 3:47 PM CDT
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Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says he's encouraged by the state's recent COVID-19 numbers but is not ready to announce a decision on whether the state will move to Phase 2 of reopening on June 5. He says he hopes to make an announcement on June 1.

During his May 27 press briefing, Edwards said that Louisiana is tracking reasonably well when looking at overall numbers for the state. However, he says the data is still being analyzed and regional data will have to be taken into account before a decision can be made. He says he will receive a recommendation from the Dept. of Health over the weekend.

Phase 1 is currently scheduled to last until June 5, unless extended by Gov. Edwards. If the state moves to Phase 2, it's expected the state would closely follow the guidance set forth by the White House, which includes loosened restrictions.

The state has about 10,000 active cases of COVID-19, based on tests, the governor says. He says that number has been steady for about a month. The number of hospitalizations in Louisiana is under 800, the lowest it's been in two months, he says.

Edwards says the state is also doing well on testing overall. 179,369 coronavirus tests have been done in May. The goal is to reach 200,000 by the end of May. Edwards believes the state will reach that goal.

He says that is 4.3% of the state's population and more than twice the minimum 2% recommended by the federal government.