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Louisiana Coronavirus Updates: 13 cases now; Hogs for Cause latest to cancel

Louisiana Public Health Hotline: 1-855-523-2652

See live updates for Friday, March 13 here

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The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed more new cases of COVID-19 late Wednesday night, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 13.

Governor John Bel Edwards said 10 cases are Orleans Parish residents, and there's one from Jefferson Parish, one from Iberia Parish and one from Caddo Parish.  

Here are the key points you need to know:

  • Louisiana is ramping up testing for the coronavirus. As of Wednesday, 13 people have been diagnosed with presumptive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  • The CDC says the best way to protect yourself from being infected is by washing your hands frequently, disinfect frequently touched surfaces and avoid close contact (within six feet) with those who are sick.

Below are live updates about the coronavirus and the local response for Wednesday, March 11, 2020:

Live Updates:

Go Red For Women luncheon postponed 

7 a.m., March 12 - The American Heart Association announces they will postpone their 2020 Go Red for Women luncheon, an annual event in New Orleans to support heart disease research and awareness. 

Officials say the event will be rescheduled for a later date. 

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Coronavirus: What is a presumptive positive case of COVID-19?

6:30 a.m., March 12 - As more areas across the United States report new confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease, the phrase "presumptive positive" has caused confusion for some readers.

According to the Center for Disease Control, a presumptive positive result is when a patient has tested positive by a local public health laboratory, but those results are still pending confirmation at a CDC lab.

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NBA suspends their season

8:45 p.m., March 11 - The NBA is suspending its season after Wednesday night’s games until further notice because of the coronavirus concerns. 

The NBA has suspended its season “until further notice" after a Utah Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for the coronavirus, a move that came only hours after the majority of the league's owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.

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Tom Hanks tweets that he, wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for Coronavirus

8:30 p.m., March 11 - Academy Award winning actor Tom Hanks Tweeted that he and Rita Wilson are in Australia and have tested positive for the coronavirus.

"We felt a bit tired, like we had colds and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive."

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Xavier University moves all courses online

8:10 p.m., March 11 - Effective Monday, Xavier University of Louisiana will transition all courses to its online platform amid coronavirus concerns, a release from the university said.

Face to face classes at Xavier have been canceled until further notice, but the campus will remain open. All gatherings after close of business Friday.

Xavier joins most other New Orleans colleges in moving their classes online. 

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President Trump suspends travel from Europe to US for 30 days over coronavirus

8:00 p.m., March 11 President Donald Trump says all travel from Europe to the United States will be suspended for 30 days amid the coronavirus pandemic, with some notable exceptions for legal permanent residents and U.S. family members.

Trump said he is suspending all travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days beginning Friday. Trump made the announcement Wednesday in an Oval Office address to the nation, blaming the European Union for not acting quickly enough to address the novel coronavirus and saying U.S. clusters were “seeded” by European travelers.

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Hogs for the Cause cancels

7:30 p.m., March 11 - "Hogs for the Cause has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event. All tickets will be refunded immediately to the card used for purchase. While we are saddened by this decision, we feel that as an organization committed to health care for those in need, it was the most responsible course of action. We will be back in 2021! Our work providing assistance to our nation’s families will continue as planned and we invite you to donate if you would like at www.hogsforthecause.org/donate."

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New Orleans declares state of emergency 

7:15 p.m., March 11 - Mayor LaToya Cantrell issues a declaration of emergency for the City due to impacts from the emerging cases of COVID-19.  

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3 cases confirmed at New Orleans retirement center

7:05 p.m., March 11 -Three residents of Lambeth House, a retirement center in New Orleans, hav been diagnosed with presumptive positive cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. 

One case had been diagnosed as of Wednesday morning. That evening, the governor announced that there were three cases in the senior living home.

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Total cases up to 13 in Louisiana

7 p.m., March 11 - There are now 13 presumptive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Louisiana. The cases are no longer contained to the Greater New Orleans area. 

Patients have been diagnosed in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, Iberia, Lafourche and Caddo Parishes.

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Dillard moves to online classes

6:15 p.m., March 11 - Dillard University announced Wednesday that it will move all classes online starting March 23 until further notice. 

Students will still have the option to leave campus for the remainder of the semester because they will have the ability to access their courses remotely. University services and offices, including residence halls and dining services will still be available.

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Tulane moves to online classes

5:50 p.m., March 11 - Tulane University announced that all classes will be conducted online starting on March 23 through the end of the semester. Friday, March 13 is the last day of in-person classes for the semester. No classes, online or in-person, will be taught March 14-22. 

All gatherings, events, and activities with more than 50 individuals will be postponed or canceled immediately. 

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Jefferson Parish cancels parades

4:35 p.m., March 11 - Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng announced that the parish has canceled this weekend's St. Patrick's Day parade and next weekend's Irish-Italian parade.

Sheng said she hopes they'll be able to reschedule the parades at a later date.

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Loyola University New Orleans to move to online classes

4 p.m., March 11 - Loyola University New Orleans said Wednesday that it will move to online instruction starting Monday, March 16 for the rest of the spring semester. Classes are canceled for the rest of the week to give faculty time to finalize preparations and give students time to move out if they plan to leave.

"In the last few days, it has become clear that there now exists community spread of COVID-19 in New Orleans," the university said.

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The University of New Orleans transitioning to remote classes

3:20 p.m., March 11 - All in-person classes at the University of New Orleans will transition to remote classes on Monday, March 16.

All classes will be conducted online.

“While none of the presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Orleans Parish is connected to the University of New Orleans community—as far as we know—it is imperative that we take decisive action before the outbreak becomes more widespread in our area,” said UNO President John Nicklow. “We are implementing these reasonable, science-based safeguards in an effort to protect our campus community and to improve the public health of our city.”

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Slidell Memorial Hospital confirms positive COVID-19 patient

2:05 p.m., March 11 - An Orleans Parish resident has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus at Slidell Memorial Hospital and is currently being treated there.

According to a statement from the hospital, the patient is being treated in an isolation room and all infection control/prevention protocols are being followed.

"SMH has been preparing for this situation, working closely with the Louisiana Office of Public Health, as well as other local, state and federal agencies," the statement reads. "Our staff has been completing drills and refreshing training on proper isolation protocol and personal protective equipment use. We are equipped with negative pressure rooms and supplies to take care of this patient and additional patients going forward, as well as ensuring the safety of our other patients and our team."

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New Orleans senior facility resident diagnosed with coronavirus

12:50 p.m., March 11 - A resident of Lambeth House, a retirement center in New Orleans, has been diagnosed with a presumptive positive case of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

READ MORE 

Event cancellations in the New Orleans area

11:55 a.m., March 11 - Keep up with what's been cancelled and what is still happening this weekend here:

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COVID-19 declares a pandemic by WHO

11:35 a.m., March 11 - The World Health Organization is declaring that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic, 50 days after recognizing the COVID-19.

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'Do not visit Louisiana nursing homes'

11:00 a.m., March 11 - Officials urge the public to stop visiting nursing homes in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus to the elderly. 

"LNHA asks that the public support efforts to protect nursing facility residents by not visiting a nursing facility until further notice in order to limit potential exposure," said Mark Berger, executive director of the LNHA . "Loved ones should call the nursing facility to arrange alternative ways to communicate with residents." 

READ MORE 

What You Need to Know about COVID-19:

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.

Credit: TEGNA

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.

Credit: TEGNA

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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