Louisiana's COVID situation is statistically worse today than it was 2-3 weeks ago.
But despite rises in our cases per day, COVID hospitalizations and percent positive rates, Gov. Edwards said he's not considering further closing the state's economy.
Gov. Edwards answered questions from both reporters and concerned citizens around the state today.
The governor said now is a time for caution, but not a time for tightened or enhanced shutdowns.
"We not there yet," Gov. Edwards said. "We hope not to be (at all) but the virus is going to decide that."
Edwards' comments come at a time when the state is facing what could be the early stages of a new spike in our coronavirus cases - our state's third total since March.
Since November 1, state COVID hospitalizations have risen from 596 to 886 - a large rise that Gov. Edwards said should be a sign of concern.
In that time, our percent positive rate has also slowly risen to 7.50% from the period of Nov. 5-11.
Gov. Edwards said he doesn't want Louisiana residents to panic, but he said right now is a time for caution and mindfulness of the things that we do and the places we go.
The governor said many of the state's cases in the past several weeks have been traced to large gatherings.
With Thanksgiving season near, Gov. Edwards said he urges people to celebrate responsibly with family and friends with the virus in mind. He said huge celebrations and indoor gatherings could have "horrendous" results for the state.
He said he's hopeful the people of Louisiana can do this successful because we pushed past Easter and the Fourth of July without significant spikes.
"We need to find new ways to celebrate and be close virtually instead of physically," Gov. Edwards said.
Despite our semi-spike in recent weeks, Louisiana is still doing far better than the rest of the country right now in its COVID effort.
The United States has been slammed with COVID in recent weeks with the nation posting more than 160,000+ new cases in most days - the largest single-day case increases we've seen since the start of the pandemic.
Since the late-summer spike in the U.S. where Louisiana moved to No. 1 in the country in COVID cases per capita, we have since dropped down to No. 14.
Gov. Edwards applauded the people of the state for their tireless work to help the state grab better control of the situation.
But he said that more work needs to be done in the coming weeks to ensure that these holidays are not dark times for Louisiana.
"There's still work to be done," Edwards said. "But I believe in the people of Louisiana.