Latest figures, as of 9:30 a.m. 03/19/20:

Cases have now increased. As of 9:30 this morning Governor John Bel Edwards says the Department of Health shows there have been 8 deaths, there are 347 positive cases, including two in Lafayette Parish, and 805 people have had the test.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. That is the message that Governor John Bel Edwards wants us, the people of Louisiana to know. He also wants you and I to get ready for some rather unsettling news. That news will be a sudden jump in COVID-19 cases in the state over the next 24 to 48 hours.

The reason is less medical than it is mathematical which is why you need to understand the scope of the information that will be disseminated across the state over the next couple of days. The reason for the anticipated jump in cases is because state officials expect to get the results of more than 1,000 COVID-19 tests between now and Saturday.

So, don't be alarmed. Be informed and make sure you know the background behind the data that will likely be released later today and Friday. Instead, remain vigilant in your own self-protection plans. That still includes an overabundance of handwashing and the new watchwords of 2020, social spacing.

The Governor told a press conference on Wednesday that it will take some time to "flatten the curve" as far as the coronavirus was concerned. The Governor also suggested that residents of Louisiana begin to mentally prepare for the possibility of even more enhanced mitigation measures. Some of those measures could include the shuttering of non-essential businesses for several weeks.