LSU Health Chancellor Dr. GE Ghali talks about the state of Coronavirus in the ArLaTex, are things getting better and the mayor's mask mandate.

In assessing the current state of the virus across the area, Ghali says, "We're seeing some rather disturbing increases, some of which we expected going from Phase I to Phase II. We were doing pretty well until about a month ago, then we began to see increases in cases. A small amount of that, I think can be attributed to our improved efficiency in testing. But I think the other thing you have to look at is some of the holidays and family gatherings and some of the "super-spreader" events that we've seen around the state."

And when it comes to some reports that despite the increase in case numbers, the hospitalization and death rates are falling, the doctor says, "Certainly the death rates are declining, (but) we've had 125 deaths in Louisiana in the last three days. Those are significant."

And the Chancellor comments on the way COVID 19 stats are compiled and reported. "I think they're doing a pretty good job with that," he says, "But could we do better? Yes. Deaths aren't something you can look at very easily because those really do lag behind and sometimes the testing is done post-mortem. I think more important is to look at hospitalizations and hospitalizations in the last two weeks in Louisiana have doubled."

And finally, Ghali endorses Mayor Adrian Perkins citywide mask mandate. "It's the right decision for what we're seeing right now," he says, "A mask does protect you as well as others. I don't care what you read, there is a significant amount of protection for both parties when one wears a mask."

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