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Louisiana's coronavirus numbers rise sharply, dashing hopes of an early curve

54 more patients have died from the virus, bringing the state’s death toll to 239. It was also the largest single-day spike in the number of new virus cases.

NEW ORLEANS — The coronavirus numbers here in New Orleans and across Louisiana are staggering.

They point to a rapidly ascending trajectory in terms of new cases and deaths from the virus.

“I think it’s a reminder to us that we’re still on the up-slope, unfortunately,” epidemiologist Susan Hassig, from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine said. “It’s very concerning.”

Tuesday, Louisiana saw its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak.

Fifty-four more patients have died from the virus, bringing the state’s death toll to 239.

It was also the largest single-day spike in the number of new virus cases in the state.

That number increased by more than 1200 to more than 5200 cases.

“The cases that are presenting symptomatically now may have been infected anywhere from a week to two weeks and possibly even longer ago,” Hassig said. “We’re still probably identifying people that were infected prior to social distancing being implemented.”

Tuesday, the number of cases in New Orleans jumped overnight by 354 – putting the city’s total at 1,834.

That’s compared to 310 combined new cases the previous 3 days.

“The city of New Orleans is still going to be trending up regardless of a couple of good days,” City Council VP Jason Williams said.

The number count may not be a true indication of the extent of infections in the city, Williams added.

“We are still a poor city. There are a number of people who don’t have the where with all to get where they need to get to be tested.”

Hassig cautioned against reading too much into the day-to-day numbers.

“It’s far more important to see multiple data points and look at how those track over a period of time,” Hassig said.

In the meantime, New Orleans is bracing for many more cases before the virus finally peaks in the city.

“I’m saddened by the fact that a lot of people are going to get sick and be sick for a while and some people are going to die and some more people are going to die,” Williams said. “I know for a fact that we’re going to get through this.”\

Williams and other public officials continue to urge social distancing to help slow the spread of the virus.

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