We were robbed.

The “we” I speak of is those of us like bar and restaurant owners who waited for the COVID-19 positivity rate every Wednesday. That's the number used by the state of Louisiana in deciding which parishes were low enough (under 5) to let bars and restaurants open up to inside customers.

Well, it turns out the numbers were incomplete according to the article — numbers provided by the state auditors. As of October, 2.3 million tests — 166,584 positive — but 4.1% of the test results had no date, 50.4 % were not submitted within 24 hours as required and it took five days 19.4% of the time.

But there is more. Tests billed to Medicaid were not included in the data nor were test results from organizations like the NFL. And then there was this: Of the 600 labs reporting test results around our state, 294 labs gave only positive results while 64 gave only negative results.

The positivity rate in each parish was and is a very big deal to some businesses. So now we know the number wasn't very accurate, but nobody cares because it only affected bars and restaurants.

JAMES LEONE

sports bar/pool hall owner

New Orleans