BATON ROUGE – A total of 46 Louisiana residents have died after contracting COVID-19 and state health officials say they’ve documented 1,388 confirmed cases of the virus in the state.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 58 cases had been reported in East Baton Rouge Parish. EBR Parish Coroner, William “Beau” Clark reported that a woman who tested positive for novel coronavirus died Tuesday (March 24) morning.
Clark’s office issued a statement regarding her death Tuesday, explaining that the patient was a 52-year-old resident of Baton Rouge and went to an area hospital complaining of flu-like symptoms on March 15.
This patient’s passing brings the total of coronavirus-related deaths in the parish to three.
Iberville Parish has also reported that a woman from White Castle died Tuesday morning, she was in her 50’s. This marks the first COVID-19-related fatality in that parish.
On Monday, officials said a second cluster of virus cases were discovered in Chateau D’Ville, a rehabilitation and retirement home in Donaldsonville. Five cases were identified in that community Monday.
Tuesday, the state said it was investigating two other living facilities as being “clusters,” including St. James Place in Baton Rouge.
We got some clarified info on nursing home cases.
Right now three known clusters — Chateau D’Ville, Chateau D’Notre Dame and Lambeth House
St. James Place in BR has one case — *potential cluster*
— Johnston von Springer (@johnstonvon) March 24, 2020
One of the cases involved a second LSU student living off-campus. The university says that person is a Law Center student who hasn’t been on campus since March 13. LSU previously said that a grad student living off-campus had tested positive for the virus.
The student does not live in on-campus housing and is currently in self-isolation. This individual reports that they are recovering well and are now asymptomatic, which we are elated to hear.
— LSU (@LSU) March 23, 2020
New patient statistics are released every day at noon. Check the embedded data in the middle of this story.
Monday, the EBR coroner revealed that a 90-year-old man from Mississippi died due to COVID-19 complications in Baton Rouge and that a 44-year-old local woman also passed away.
The man was from Woodville, Mississippi, and died on March 21. A health test returned a positive coronavirus result Monday, two days after his death. The 44-year-old local woman died Sunday after being hospitalized with complaints of shortness of breath. Lab testing also showed she was positive for COVID-19.
As expected, there are coronavirus patients from most capital-area parishes. More patients are also being diagnosed with COVID-19 as testing increases across the state.
The Department of Health said Tuesday that 271 people, nearly 20% of the people diagnosed with COVID-19, were hospitalized. Of those, 94 patients required ventilation.
The numbers only show the amount of patients hospitalized and do not indicate if those who are not in the care of doctors, and presumably self-isolating at home and away from people, have fully recovered. The state was pointed in its description of how to describe a recovered patient: “A person is considered recovered when it has been at least seven days after the onset of illness, AND at least three day after resolution of fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) AND resolution or improvement in respiratory symptoms.”
Our Lady of the Lake, Baton Rouge General and Ochsner are treating patients.
The below map is provided by the state and is updated at noon daily; Cases released by hospitals or local governments during the day are not reported in the map until the next reporting deadline.
The tabs at the bottom of the map can be used to navigate limited information about the patients, including age groups.
To combat the spread, the state issued a stay-at-home order beginning Monday, March 23 at 5 p.m. Many places where gatherings would happen: Bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms, theaters and other businesses were ordered closed earlier in the month.
Officials are hoping to reach a peak where the virus spread will not top the available healthcare resources in Louisiana.
“Now more than ever, we must remain vigilant against the spread of this illness by taking care of ourselves and each other, avoiding going into public areas if you are sick, practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently with soap and water,” Governor Edwards said after the first death.
As of Saturday, March 14, the CDC began allowing state agencies to confirm coronavirus cases within their own labs, without sending test samples to the CDC. The CDC says the decision was made because the state tests have proven to be reliable.
The Louisiana Department of Health reported the state’s first positive case of the virus at an Orleans Parish hospital March 9. The Department of Health said the initial case was not travel-related and was “community acquired.”
The CDC is also urging all large events and mass gatherings, for 8 weeks, to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States to help prevent the spread.
The state has launched a hotline to answer the public’s questions about the virus. Anyone looking to use the service can dial 2-1-1 to be connected to the network. Written answers can be answered online at www.la211help.org.