With Another Spike In Cases, Another Reminder That COVID-19 Case Numbers Are A Reflection Of Testing

May 21, 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases reported over 24 hours in Louisiana spiked again on Thursday and, once again, this is not cause for alarm.

The Louisiana Department of Health says 682, or 62 percent, of the 1,188 new cases reported today were from labs reporting for the first time, with test results dating as far back as March 25.

Over the last two weeks, state and commercial labs have reported results for between 1,000 and 10,000 tests each day — generally somewhere right in the middle of that range. Today, they reported 19,411.

It's an important reminder, yet again, that the growth in COVID-19 cases numbers is a reflection of testing and reporting. The state (and the country) can only count as many cases as it can test for, and efforts to expand testing are still ramping up.

This week, for instance, the City of New Orleans has been pushing reminders that anyone can now get tested for the coronavirus, regardless of whether they have symptoms. And today, CVS announced it will open eight new  test sites on Friday at at drive-thru locations across Louisiana. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), meanwhile, announced $8,507,364 in funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to expand testing in 172 rural Louisiana health clinics.