BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s number of coronavirus cases surged over 9,000 Thursday in the wake of increased testing statewide, officials said.
During a Thursday morning radio interview, Governor John Bel Edwards indicated that the number of coronavirus-infected Louisiana residents is likely to spike Thursday afternoon. He explained this is due to a backlog of patient information from private labs that has only just now been sent to Louisiana’s Department of Health.
A total of 18 EBR Parish residents and two individuals from out-of-state have succumbed to coronavirus-related health complications in East Baton Rouge Parish, the area’s Coroner, Dr. William “Beau” Clark, revealed via a statement released Thursday (April 2) morning.
The West Baton Rouge coroner also reported that three more coronavirus-related deaths occurred in that parish, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths in WBR to four, as of Thursday (April 2). The latest deaths involved people ages 73, 76, and 58.
Governor Edwards pointed to new data Wednesday saying that the state is still on the same trajectory as it was last week, possibly leading to a situation similar to that in Italy, though that could change if residents stick to social distancing guidelines.
Edwards also noted that numbers in the Orleans/Jefferson Parish area are “starting to flatten” though there is still progress to be made.
The numbers below 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.
Set to expire in mid-April, the governor said at a news conference on Sunday, March 29, the order may need to be extended after April 13 and any decision will be made closer to the originally-scheduled end date of the order. On Monday (March 30), the governor said he’ll make a decision on the stay at home order and social distancing guidelines by the end of the week (March 30-April 3).
Officials are hoping to reach a peak where the virus spread will not top the available healthcare resources in Louisiana.
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.