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More compliance needed as Louisiana sees spike in COVID-19

You can watch a replay of Gov. Edwards’ July 1, 2020, news conference here.

MONROE, La. (KNOE) – As Louisiana experiences another spike in new coronavirus cases, Governor John Bel Edwards said more compliance with mitigation measures is needed to avoid facing the possibility of more restrictions in the state.

The warning was made after the state reported a total of 2,083 new cases on July 1, 2020. That’s about twice the number of new cases than what was reported on the previous day. It’s also much higher than what the state was reporting just weeks ago when Louisiana was reporting fewer than 300 new cases daily.

While the governor is not announcing any new restrictions for Louisiana as of Wednesday, he did have a message for Louisianans: Health care is a priority.

“At some point, if we don’t get off this trajectory that we are on, we’re going to have to impose more restrictions because what we are not going to do, and I want this to be crystal clear to everybody in the state of Louisiana, we are not going to threaten our ability to deliver health care. Not just to COVID-19 patients, but to anybody in the state of Louisiana who needs to be treated in a hospital. And they could be stroke victims or heart attack victims or motor vehicle accident victims, you name it. We are not going to get back there.” Edwards said.

For now, the governor said there will be more robust enforcement of restrictions already in place. He is encouraging every business and venue to do everything they can to comply with the current Phase 2 guidelines. This includes adhering to occupancy limits and having their employees wear masks, as required.

“If you’re in the business community, and you want to make sure the economy does as well as possible during this public health emergency and as many businesses are open as possible and employees are back at work, and customers are in the stores and in the restaurants, then you need to do your part. Because I will tell you, the surge we’ve seen in cases is not because we went to Phase 2, it’s because people aren’t engaging in the proper behaviors,” Edwards said.

Edwards said residents must also make a better effort to comply with mitigation guidelines. That includes wearing masks when going out in public. Masks help slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect people around you. Guidelines also include social distancing. You should avoid large groups and stay at least six feet away from others while in public.

Gov. Edwards said he does not currently plan a mask mandate for all residents in the state but supports mask mandates for local municipalities where they have been enacted. He also strongly encourages everyone to wear a mask.

He said we don’t want to be faced with the issue of having to think about going back to Phase 1 or the Stay at Home order.

“You know who’re the best enforcers out there? It’s the general public. If you refuse to go in a store that isn’t operating safely, that store is going to change. That restaurant will change. That business will do whatever is required,” he said.

Copyright 2020 KNOE. All rights reserved.

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