BATON ROUGE – A total of 83 Louisiana residents have died after contracting COVID-19 and state health officials say they’ve documented 2,305 confirmed cases of the virus in the state.
On Thursday (March 26) morning, EBR Parish Coroner, William “Beau” Clark reported that an 86-year-old man who was diagnosed with the virus passed away. The man sought treatment at an area hospital on March 21.
Thursday’s death brings the total number of EBR Parish virus-related deaths to six. According to the most recent report from state health officials, there were a total of 105 cases in the parish.
Ascension Parish is reporting 91 total cases as of Wednesday. 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 so far.
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.
LSU announced Thursday that a third member of the university community had tested positive. That person was said to be a member of the Greek community living on campus and is now being kept in isolation. Two other who haven’t been on campus since March 13 tested positive as well.
A third member of the LSU community in Baton Rouge has informed us that they have tested positive for coronavirus. The individual, who is a student, lived in the Greek community on campus and reports that they are recovering and in isolation with their family.
— LSU (@LSU) March 26, 2020
The state said it was investigating two other living facilities as being “clusters,” including St. James Place in Baton Rouge.
New patient statistics are released every day at noon. Check the embedded data in the middle of this story.
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 Thursday that 676 people, about 29% of the people diagnosed with COVID-19, were hospitalized. Of those, 239 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.
Click HERE for a breakdown of the ages of patients who have died from complications related to COVID-19.
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.