This Is the Only State That's Seen a Second COVID Peak
How Louisiana beat back the coronavirus only to have it come back it higher numbers.
So far in the U.S., the majority of states that have experienced a COVID peak have not experienced another at the same level. A few states, including Illinois and Michigan, saw a slight uptick in daily new cases months after their first spikes, while other states, like New York and Massachusetts, have kept their total of daily new cases consistently low since recovering from serious initial peaks. At this stage in the pandemic, only one state has seen a second COVID peak even more significant than the first: Louisiana.
Louisiana experienced its first COVID peak early in the pandemic, reporting 2,201 new cases on Apr. 4, according to data from The New York Times. In late July, the state peaked again and higher.
Barry Bloom, MD, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, assessed the state's second peak on an Aug. 25 media conference call about the pandemic that Best Life attended. According to Bloom, Louisiana's cases dropped when they implemented social distancing back in the spring, but that the graph shot up again when leadership "got complacent and decided they could open up. He compared Louisiana's reversed progress to the more steady improvement of Arizona, Texas, and Georgia—states which he said have adhered more strongly to preventative guidelines.
Bloom also attributed Louisiana's second peak to the behavior of individual citizens. "Either you have people not wearing masks or people congregating in very close quarters, and if that's the case, the epidemic will take its natural course, which is to transmit. It's seeking its own survival," he said.
In response to climbing numbers, Louisiana has reversed some reopening measures. Bars will remain closed at least throughout August and there is now a mask mandate in place, per the Times. On the conference call, Bloom stressed that guiding the behavior of Louisiana residents is the key to keeping numbers low.
"Empowering the public to take responsibility for their own safety is the way these curves are gonna get better," he said.
For how other hard-hit areas are doing, check out Dr. Fauci Says These States Don't Need to Lock Down Again.