Governor John Bel Edwards visited President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday to discuss Louisiana’s response to COVID-19, and it’s strategy going forward. Edwards extended the statewide Stay at Home Order to May 15 on Monday. 

Edwards expressed his gratitude to the President and his administration for their consistent support of Louisiana during the ongoing pandemic, and also expressed optimism about the strategy going forward.

Edwards said: “I again want to thank President Trump and Vice President Pence for supporting the people of Louisiana during this difficult time. We had a great conversation today, and I look forward to continuing to work with our federal partners as we move toward Phase One.”

The federal government has committed to providing 200,000 tests a month to help Louisiana increase it’s testing capacity as it prepares to enter Phase One of the federal reopening guidelines. 

Before entering Phase One states must meet the following criteria: 

A downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and COVID-19 syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period.

A downward trajectory of documented cases or positive tests as a percent of total tests, within a 14-day period.

Hospitals are treating patients without crisis care and have a robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing.

Louisiana has made a great deal of progress when it comes to flattening the curve. However, there are certain regions in the state that need to improve before Louisiana can enter Phase One. Region Two (Baton Rouge), Region Four (Acadiana), Region Five (Southwest), Region Seven  (Shreveport/Bossier), Region Eight (Monroe), and Region Nine (Northshore) are the remaining regions in the state that need to see declines in their COVID-19 cases and/or hospitalizations. 

In statements made prior to his meeting with the President,  Edwards expressed gratitude to the Trump Administration for all their help thus far.

Edwards stated: “I will also thank the President and Vice President for the many ways the federal government has stepped up to help Louisiana as we have navigated the past few months, from millions of pieces of PPE, hundreds of ventilators, support for more than 1,000 members of the National Guard, field hospitals and Public Health Service teams, early support of mobile testing sites and access to federal health officials and other experts as we have made many critical, life-saving decisions for Louisianans.”