Louisiana has its first presumptive case of coronavirus and an email to VA employees indicates the patient has been hospitalized at the VA Medical Center in New Orleans since Friday. Governor John Bel Edwards says now is not the time to panic, instead, get prepared.

“It looks as though this is going to continue to get worse for some time before it gets better, but how much worse is really dependent upon how many people do the things that we are asking them to do,” says Edwards.

After being admitted the patient was later deemed appropriate for COVID-19 testing by the Louisiana Department of Health.

Office of Public Health Assistant Secretary Alex Billioux says the state is currently trying to identify people who were in contact with the patient, and need to take additional precautions.

“That means those recommendations that we have been making for a while, such as stay home and monitor for symptoms, that would apply to them as well,” says Billioux.

The results of the test are being submitted to the CDC for confirmation. That confirmation is expected Tuesday.

Billioux says the state is expected to be able to begin testing a larger number of people in the near future as commercial testing sites come online.

“LabCorps should be able to do this testing and we have been told by Quest that they should be able to do this testing in the next two weeks,” says Billioux.

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