'Wait and See': Stay at Home date not yet a guarantee, Edwards says

John Dupont

BATON ROUGE – The flattening of the curve on Louisiana coronavirus statistics is beginning to take shape, but residents should not expect an immediate return to normalcy, Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

The numbers of cases and hospitalization has come closer to the national averages in the past week, but he said Thursday he is not ready to say if the state will definitely give the go-ahead on the restrictions in place.

We’ll just have to wait and see, so be patient,” Edwards said to a reporter during his daily briefing at the state Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness headquarters.

A reduction in mortality rate and need for ventilators provides a glimmer of hope, but other variables remain uncertain.

State health officials must first conduct additional testing and determine how much, if any, the totals could spike after normal activities resume. Residents should expect a more gradual return to regular activities, Edwards said.

It won’t be like flipping a light switch,” he said. “It will be a be a transitionary period with various testing, looser restrictions and monitoring at all times where cases spike.”

Edwards originally set Easter Sunday (April 12) as the end of the Stay at Home mandate and closure for schools and nonessential businesses. The surge in totals across the state prompted the extension to April 30.

He said he is not ready to announce if his orders will expire at the end of the month.

I’ll have an announcement on that when I have an announcement on that … today’s not the day,” Edwards said. “We just have to wait and see and be patient.”