Gov. Edwards: Social distancing to be around for awhile

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Gov. John Bel Edwards has been providing updates on coronavirus cases in Louisiana | Catherine Hunt/LSU Manship School News Service

What could transitioning back to normal life in Louisiana look like? Gov. John Bel Edwards revealed a few of the ideas being considered during his daily press briefing on Tuesday.

“I can tell you social distancing is going to be part of our future for some period of time,” Edwards said. “Wearing a mask when you’re out in public is going to be a part of what we do. Staying at home when you’re sick is going to be part of what we do. I think you’re going to see your temperature be taken more than it’s ever been taken in order to be admitted to certain places. That’s the sort of thing we can anticipate for some period of time.”

The governor emphasized that it won’t be “like flipping a light switch.” The plan could involve certain geographic areas or different business sectors being reopened on different time frames.

“What that announcement looks like is going to depend in large part on what our case numbers look like,” Edwards said. “We don’t want to get back to the place where we’re on the path to exceeding our ability to deliver healthcare.”

Being able to test more people will be key to reopening the state. Edwards suggested that we won’t see any changes until more testing is being done and the results from those tests look better.

“If you look at the efforts that have been made in Louisiana to increase our testing, they have been tremendously successful in the sense that we are administering more tests per capita than any other state in the nation. But the key to moving forward, especially between now and such a time as a vaccine becomes available will be through very aggressive and robust testing plus contact racing,” Edwards said. 

“When we get back to where we can remove some of these restrictions and start to open up our economy you’re going to see a lot more testing and these test results will inform our decisions.”