Watch Live: Louisiana governor holds news conference on COVID-19 surge

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is holding a news conference on Friday, as the state continues to see rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to a fourth surge of the virus. The press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. Eastern). 

Across the state on Thursday, 1,620 patients were hospitalized with the virus, CBS affiliate WAFB reports, and 1,625 patients were hospitalized. Health officials say the surge is being spurred by the highly-contagious delta variant. 

Earlier this week, the governor said 90% of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 complications in the state were unvaccinated patients. 

“For anyone asking the question when will this end, the answer is simple: when we decide to do what it takes to end it,” he wrote in a statement. “The most impactful tools to make that happen are free and widely available- the three safe and effective vaccines.”

Edwards also advised residents to continue social distancing and echoed recommendations the Louisiana Health Department issued last week that advises both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents to wear face masks indoors.

“As I said recently, this surge is on us, and that means it is up to each of us to do our part to bring it to an end,” Edwards said. “It’s within our power.”

The governor’s office Friday announced two members of Edwards’ team have tested positive for COVID-19. “Both are at home in isolation, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Health,” it said in a statement.

“The Governor’s office has a high rate of fully vaccinated staff, including these staffers who were vaccinated against COVID earlier this year. While breakthrough cases such as these do happen, they typically do not result in serious illness,” it said.

Contributing: Tori Powell. Note: Streaming plans are subject to change.