Gov. Edwards

SHREVEPORT, La. - Governor John Bel Edwards is starting to reopen Louisiana. Starting next Monday, the state will allow medical and non-emergency surgical procedures, including dental visits. 

A recent Harvard study says Louisiana is second in the U.S. for per capita testing; the state tests 124 people for every 100 thousand people per day.

For comparison, Texas is only testing 27 people per 100 thousand. 

Governor Edwards says that within a month, he wants to test at least 200,000 people per month. For reference, Politico says Louisiana has tested 142,000 people since coronavirus testing began. 

Dr. Alex Billioux, the assistant secretary of health, says LSU Health Shreveport is the major testing leader in the state. 

"It's worth noting that LSU Shreveport Lab is running tests for most of Region 7," Dr Billioux says. He also explains that LSU Shreveport is doing samples for Ouachita area, where LSU Health is starting a hub and spoke model going on.

Other parishes send its samples to a population center; in this case, that is Shreveport.

Dr. Billioux also says that LSU Health Shreveport is the state leader in printing 3D nasal testing swabs. More nasal swabs means more tests can be performed. 

LSU Health Shreveport has obtained the printing files for a patented swab design, becoming the first in Louisiana to produce these patented 3D printed swabs.

Steven Alexander, Molecular and Cellular Physiology professor, is leading the effort to start producing these 3-D printed nasal swabs in large quantities.

"The tip of the swab has little dimples in it, that can capture some of the cells that may harbor the virus. Currently, we can produce about 300 a day. We're going to be ramping up to about 1000 a day production," Alexander says.

The swabs are currently being tested at LSU Health Shreveport's "Emerging Viral Threat" lab.