NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Department of Health has now reported 36 total cases of COVID-19 in the state, the potentially deadly disease caused by the new coronavirus.
As of Friday afternoon, the LDH reports 26 cases are Orleans Parish residents, three are Jefferson parish residents, two are St. Tammany residents, one is from Caddo Parish, one from Lafourche Parish, one from St. Bernard Parish, one from St. Charles Parish and one from Terrebonne Parish.
Below are live updates about the coronavirus and the local response for Friday, March 13, 2020:
St. John resident presumptively positive for COVID-19
Officials with St. John the Baptist Parish said a resident of the parish tested presumptively positive for COVID-19 on Friday.
The St. John Parish Emergency Operation Center received confirmation from the Louisiana Department of Health. The patient is being treated in Jefferson Parish.
It's unclear if this case is one of the existing 36 presumptive positive cases reported by the Louisiana Department of Health.
36 cases diagnosed in Louisiana
As of 3 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 36 people have been diagnosed as a presumptive positive for COVID-19 Coronavirus in Louisiana. The three additional cases are in all in Orleans Parish, bringing their total to 26 cases.
Louisiana Governor suspends K-12 public schools, large gatherings
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says he has signed a proclamation that closes all K-12 public schools statewide starting Monday, March 13 until Monday, April 13.
The proclamation also bans gatherings of more than 250 people until April 13.
Archbishop gives Catholics permission to skip mass for the next month
Catholics attending mass within the Archdiocese of New Orleans will not be obligated to attend on Sundays during the coronavirus outbreak.
According to a statement from Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Catholics will not be obligated to attend Mass on Sundays for the next 30 days. However, mass will still be held.
Cases from Uptown nursing home increased to eight
Officials said there were now eight patients from the Lambeth House nursing home being treated after testing presumptive positive for COVID-19.
According to a Lambeth House spokesperson, on-site testing for the virus has begun. So far, medical staff from Ochsner has tested 13 people from the independent living floors. Those tests are now in the hands of the Louisiana Department of Health.
The elderly are considered the most at risk population when it comes to the coronavirus. People over the age of 65 have a higher fatality rate from COVID-19 than any other group.
Louisiana presidential primary voting pushed back to June
Louisiana's presidential preference primary scheduled for April will be delayed by two months due to the coronavirus outbreak in the state.
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced the change during a press conference Friday. The state's closed presidential primaries are now set for June 20.
Louisiana law allows for the secretary of state to delay or reschedule an election in an emergency situation.
Only voters registered with a party can vote in a closed primary.
French Quarter Festival postponed until October
The 37th annual French Quarter Festival, originally scheduled for April 16-19, has been postponed until the first week of October because of the spread of COVID-19.
Organizers made the announcement Friday, as the Louisiana Health Department announced there were now 33 presumptive positive cases of the new coronavirus disease in the state, 23 of which are in Orleans Parish.
"French Quarter Festivals, Inc.'s top priority is the health and safety of our fans, artists, staff, volunteers, sponsors, and community," organizers said in a statement.
The festival has been reschedule to Oct. 1 - Oct. 4. The organization, which supports hundreds of and creates thousands of jobs each year, is now asking for donations in lieu of the April events.
Now 33 presumptive positive cases in Louisiana, most in Orleans
According to the LDH's latest numbers, there are now 33 total cases of COVID-19 in the state, the potentially deadly diseased caused by the new coronavirus.
Parishes with their first cases as of Friday include St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Tammany and Terrebonne. Jefferson Parish, who had their first case earlier this week, also saw an increase of on case.
Still, the large majority of reported cases are in New Orleans, with 23 presumptive positive tests now being shipped off to the Center for the Disease control.
St. Charles Parish officials said their resident is being treated in Jefferson Parish. Parish President Matthew Jewell said they've been in constant contact with the governor's office.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office encouraged people to call 211 or text keyword LACOVID to 504-898-211 for the latest safety information.
See the LDH website here for more
Two St. Tammany residents test positive for COVID-19
The Louisiana Department of Health has advised St. Tammany Parish officials of two more presumptive positive cases of coronavirus, the first cases on the Northshore involving residents there.
Previously, one Orleans Parish resident was being treated at Slidell Memorial Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.
According to a St. Tammany Parish Government Facebook post, the two new cases are added to the 19 the state has already mentioned, bringing the current total to 21. The LDH is expected to give more information at 9:30 a.m.
First primary school closes in Jefferson Parish
The Jewish Community Day School, a and pre-K-6th grade private school in Metairie, announces it will close for two weeks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
While most New Orleans area colleges and universities have moved classes online, it's the first primary school in the metro area to close and plan to do so as well. The head of the school says the decision is being made as a precaution and no students have shown symptoms of COVID-19 and there are no reasons to believe the school community has been exposed yet.
Jurors told not to report to courthouse
Jurors are not to report to the courthouse, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a social media post on Facebook on Thursday, as a measure to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The mayor shared a graphic that said potential jurors scheduled to appear for juror empanelment on Friday are strongly encouraged to qualify online.
Louisiana Coronavirus Outbreak Interactive Map
Louisiana residents living in four parishes have tested positive for the disease, and three of those parishes are in southeast Louisiana. Those cases include 15 in Orleans Parish, 1 in Lafourche Parish, 2 in Jefferson Parish and 1 in Caddo Parish.
Coronavirus patients were in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, doctor not surprised
Health leaders in Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas said coronavirus patients in their states recently made trips to New Orleans, where they possibly contracted the virus.
Health leaders said one person from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and two friends from Memphis, Tennessee, were in the city during Carnival Season. Shelby County Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter said those two patients were over the age of 40 and doing well, but it's unclear how the virus spread to them.
New Orleans college seniors to spend last days of college at home
In each city where there's worry over the spread of the coronavirus, you can find both disappointment and understanding on college campuses.
The last few weeks of school, for most college seniors, involve a lot of social events and eventually, a diploma. Members of the class of 2020 across New Orleans will be finishing those degrees online.
Senior year was cut short for thousands of students after nearly every university in New Orleans made the decision to move all classes online.
Families of seniors at Lambeth House worried they're losing precious time
As of today, the Louisiana Department of Health is requiring all licensed health care facilities to restrict visitors. Only those who are essential, vital or necessary to care, will be allowed for the next 30 days. This is to limit the spread of coronavirus.
There are now 19 positive tests for coronavirus here in Louisiana. Four of those are seniors who live in Lambeth House.
Actress Lin Gathright's mother, Barbara, is living with advanced dementia. She is in relatively good health but is cared for in the memory care division of Lambeth House.
New Orleans' music and entertainment industry taking a hit due to coronavirus
Hogs For The Cause, Buku Fest, and Top Taco are just some of the latest big events that have been canceled or postponed to try and contain the coronavirus. This is having a major financial impact on people who make these events possible. It's the peak time of year for festivals and music events.
"Oh, this is it, yea. Late March and April are the biggest time of year for every New Orleans musician," New Orleans musician Dave Jordan said.
All of Jordan's gigs have been canceled through the rest of the month. As a musician, he goes by Dave Jordan & The NIA.
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.
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.