Governor Edwards says our current escalation in COVID cases began almost exactly two weeks after Memorial Day and he wants residents to avoid a repeat for the 4th of July.

Edwards says the additional, unmindful, unmasked contact people made on Memorial Day helped spur the present-day spike.

“And now we are approaching the 4th of July and we really cannot exacerbate the current trend with a repeat of what we saw over Memorial Day,” says Edwards.

The state has seen sustained growth in the total number of cases and hospitalizations over the past half month, with our positivity rate now hovering right at the 10 percent level.

Edwards says avoid any large gatherings for the holiday, and absolutely do not walk into any crowds.

“I will be spending my July 4th with my immediate family and I strongly recommend, as does the leadership at LDH, that you do the same,” says Edwards.

New data from a study of residents in Jefferson and Orleans Parish indicates the virus is more deadly than previously thought, and that asymptomatic carrier of COVID are more infectious than previously thought.

Edwards advises against fireworks displays this year. He says if you attend one of the few public displays still happening do some from your car, but better yet he says just watch one virtually or on TV.

(Story written by Matt Doyle/Louisiana Radio Network)