Louisiana on the cusp of deciding whether phase 2 begins

In one week, Louisiana could potentially move to "phase two" of coronavirus mitigation. Health officials say they have a few things they will be looking for in the data.

Dr. Joe Kanter with the Louisiana Dept. of Health says they are looking for three things as they gather data on the pandemic:

"We're looking at what we call COVID-like illness, and this is a measure of how many people are coming into emergency departments with symptoms suggestive of COVID -- fever, cough, shortness of breath," said Kanter.

"The second measure is actually confirmed diagnosed cases, so the number of people who are testing positive throughout the state," he said. 

That, along with the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19, make up the three key factors in the data set. Dr. Kanter says it takes all of that in combination to really figure out where we stand.

"If you just look at testing data, if you just look at people that test positive, and that should go up, you really don't know if that's going up because the virus is spreading again, or if you're just doing more testing," the doctor explained. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards says he wants to announce on Monday whether or not Louisiana will be able to proceed to phase two in one week.