Baton Rouge, La. – July 23, 2020 – It has been three weeks since Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome signed an executive order instituting a “No mask, No service” policy for the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish. Since then, there has been a notable decrease in the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19.
In the two weeks leading up to the mask mandate, we had a positivity rate of 13% in East Baton Rouge Parish. Over the past four days, we’ve seen our positivity rate drop to 9%, a decrease of almost one-third.
“While we are finding more new COVID-19 cases than before the mask mandate, we are pleased with the decrease in our positivity rate. This decrease signals face coverings are helping in our effort to flatten the curve,” said Mayor Broome. “We are still not where we want to be, but our effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the support from both the business community and citizens of this parish, show this executive order has helped us take a large step in the right direction.”
According to the CDC and the White House’s guidelines for Opening Up America Again, the positivity rate should be under 15% for 14 consecutive days to enter Phase 2 and under 10% for 14 consecutive days to enter Phase 3. The World Health Organization recommends a positivity rate below 5% as a sign of flattening the curve.
“We are still seeing the concerning effects of the coronavirus resurgence in our community, including our area hospitals reaching capacity and postponing non-emergency procedures,” said Mayor Broome. “Now is the time to double-down in our efforts to flatten the curve. I implore all of our residents to wear a face covering, get tested, and practice social distancing and good hygiene.”
Since July 3rd when the executive order went into effect, there have been 32,435 tests administered across the City-Parish and reported to the Louisiana Department of Health. This increase in the number of tests administered is a result of the Geaux Get Tested initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Louisiana Department of Health.
Data related to the coronavirus pandemic in East Baton Rouge Parish, including positivity rate, can be found on the City-Parish dashboard at brla.gov/coronavirus. Statewide data can be found at ldh.la.gov/coronavirus.