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Louisiana Coronavirus Updates: 1,267 dead, 1,761 hospitalized

Even with signs pointing to a slowdown of coronavirus, Louisiana isn't out of danger yet, officials warn.

NEW ORLEANS — Latest Numbers:

  • 1,267 deaths 
  • 23,580 total cases 
  • 1,761 patients in hospitals 
  • 347 in need of ventilators
  • 64 of 64 parishes reporting cases
  • Over 137,000 tests completed 

Key Updates: 

  • Jazz Festival, the city's largest event of the festival season, has been canceled.
  • Governor John Bel Edwards says Louisiana will not wait until things are "back to normal" to open the economy, and has created a commission to plan on doing so slowly and safely. 
  • Small business owners have been left hanging after loan money from the federal government dried up. Still, some owners worry re-opening the economy too quickly will be more costly. 
  • New numbers in Jefferson Parish show COVID-19 is largely impacting black communities on the West Bank.   

Read yesterday's live blog 

Hospitalizations drop, fewer patients on ventilators

New numbers from the Louisiana Department of Health show continued improvement in the state's fight against the coronavirus. 

As of noon Saturday, 1,761 patients were hospitalized. That number is more than 100 fewer than Friday and points to the continuing social distancing efforts across the state keeping hospitals from being overloaded with patients. 

The number of patients on ventilators dropped over the past 24 hours as well, from 363 patients to 347.

The number of deaths reported Saturday remained steady. With some exceptions, recent days have had a consistent death toll in the 50s. The 54 additional deaths since Friday show a plateau in the growth rate for patient mortality.

Death report slows as hospitalizations continue to drop

The Louisiana Department of Health reported 57 more COVID-19 deaths on Friday, bringing the statewide total to 1,213. 

There was a significant decrease of ventilators in use and hospitalizations, both of which have now trended down for more than a week. 

There was a small percent increase in testing, with 6,401 new completed tests reported Friday. Still, the total cases in the state climbed by 586 to 23,118, a number that has increased steadily between 500 and 1,000 every day this week. 

New Orleans now reports 5,906 and 317 deaths, with an increase of 59 new cases reported Friday. This is the sixth day of double-digit increases for the city, as opposed to triple digit increase. 

Jefferson Parish, however, continues to catch up to New Orleans in cases, now with 5,476, and 269 deaths. 

Cases by parish (SE Louisiana):

  • Orleans: 5,906 cases, 317 deaths
  • Jefferson: 5,476 cases, 269 deaths
  • East Baton Rouge: 1,424 cases, 66 deaths
  • St. Tammany: 961 cases, 66 death
  • St. John: 623 cases, 50 deaths
  • St. Charles: 471 cases, 26 deaths
  • Terrebonne: 293 cases, 18 deaths
  • Lafourche: 542 cases, 21 deaths
  • Tangipahoa: 435 cases, 18 deaths
  • St. James: 216 cases, 14 death
  • Plaquemines: 152 cases, 11 deaths
  • St. Bernard 404 cases, 11 deaths
  • Washington: 184 cases, 11 death

Tools 

MORE: Louisiana Coronavirus Outbreak Interactive Map

MORE: COVID-19 Timeline: See how fast things have changed in Louisiana

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.

Worldwide illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including severe pneumonia that can result in hospitalization or death. 

Older people and people with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease or cancer seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.

People with recent travel to China, or have come in contact with someone who has recent travel and is ill, have a greater risk for becoming ill.

What to do if you are sick:

If you recently traveled to an area affected by COVID-19 transmission, and you feel sick, stay home and call your doctor immediately. Do not go to the doctor without calling first.

If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, call the Louisiana Department of Health hotline at 1-855-523-2652. 

If you are severely ill and you think you need to go to the hospital, call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency room.

How to Prevent the Spread:

The virus is thought to spread between people in close contact (within 6 feet) and through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wash hands with soap and water often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Especially wash hands after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home if you feel sick to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Cover your cough with your elbow to prevent the spread of germs.

Treatments for COVID-19:

There are no medications specifically approved for COVID-19. People with coronavirus should be treated with supportive care to help relieve symptoms. 

Some severe cases require going to the hospital, particularly in the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.

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