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Louisiana Coronavirus Updates: 280 cases, 8 deaths

Governor John Bel Edwards said that the number of cases may take a dramatic jump in the next few days as more test results come in.

See live blog for Thursday March 19 here 

There are now eight victims of the coronavirus in Louisiana after the first death in St. James Parish was reported by officials there. 

Jefferson Parish also experienced their first lost from COVID-19 Wednesday. The six others who have died were residents of New Orleans. 

There are 196 cases in New Orleans, making it the second highest city, per capita, behind Seattle. Jefferson Parish now has 45 cases. There are 10 cases in St. Tammany and there are now three cases in Baton Rouge. 

Two of the victims announced Wednesday were residents of Lambeth House - a 92-year-old, was announced hours after it was learned a 98-year-old (both residents of Lambeth House) had passed away sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Four of the victims have all been elderly members of the Lambeth House community. There are at least 13 confirmed cases of the virus posing a threat to the at-risk population there. 

"Each of these numbers, they're not just cases, they represent our brothers and sisters," Edwards said. "They are our fellow Louisianans, our fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters, family members, coworkers and neighbors."

LDH data shows that people in their 40s have been infected the most in Louisiana. There have been no reported COVID-19 cases among children (under 18) in the state.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has prohibited all private and public gatherings and closed all bars, nightclubs, gyms, health clubs, shopping malls and dine-in restaurants. These social distancing rules went into effect Tuesday. 

The number of cases in Louisiana continues to grow significantly, and that number is expected to continue growing as more people are tested.

Expect massive spike in COVID-19 cases in Louisiana, governor says 

Governor John Bel Edwards says Louisianians should expect a huge jump in numbers, potentially by a thousand in the coming days, as the state's COVID-19 testing capacity begin to catch up to the need. 

Another death reported from Lambeth House; now 4

Four residents from the Lambeth House retirement community in Uptown New Orleans have died from COVID-19, just days after the first case was reported there.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Health announced the fourth victim, a 92-year-old, Wednesday afternoon, hours after it was learned a 98-year-old Lambeth House resident had also passed away while battling the virus. 

Six people in the state are now dead from the novel coronavirus, all of whom were New Orleans residents. Four of them lived in Lambeth House.

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'Let's not make matters worse:' New Orleans mayor urges traffic safety 

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell says now is the time for New Orleans drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to exercise extra caution on the roads of a city rife with accidents. 

"Let's not make matters worse. Drive, bicycle and walk on our city streets like your life depends on it. Slow down, be visible, be aware, be mindful. Be safe," Cantrell said. 

The warning comes as more than 175 COVID-19 patients (of the 240 total cases in the state) are in New Orleans. 

Read Cantrell's fulls statement below:

"We cannot stress enough the need for safety on our streets during this critical time. Adhering to all of the rules of the road is not only about obeying the law; it's about saving lives. Regardless of the cause of recent traffic fatalities, and even acknowledging the turning-off of traffic cameras in school zones, we need to remember one important word: safety," said Cantrell. "Let's be honest: Our health and safety resources — NOPD, NOEMS, Health, hospitals, ER's, ICU's, you name it — are already being stretched. They don't need traffic crashes sending them more patients. Let's not make matters worse. Drive, bicycle and walk on our city streets like your life depends on it. Slow down, be visible, be aware, be mindful. Be safe."  

On Monday, there were two fatal hit-and-runs in the city that left a man and a woman dead. One is being investigated as a homicide

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3rd resident of Lambeth House in New Orleans dies 

A third resident of the Lambeth House retirement community in Uptown New Orleans has died from COVID-19, Louisiana health officials said Wednesday morning.

They were 98 years old. 

There are now five deaths in the state from the novel coronavirus, all of which were New Orleans residents. 

The Louisiana Department of Heath's update comes the day after an 80-year-old Lambeth House resident, identified as 80-year-old James Carriere, was pronounced dead from the new virus.

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State creates emotional support hotline

From the LDH:

"Recognizing the strong emotions and associated stress many people are feeling with the COVID-19 outbreak, the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health has established a hotline to help Louisianans cope.

The Keep Calm Through COVID crisis phone line provides trained, compassionate counselors to support Louisianans through this difficult time. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with information and service coordination, linking callers to mental health and substance abuse counseling services. This service is available to the public at no charge."

Call the Keep Calm Through COVID hotline at 1-866-310-7977 at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential.  

Louisianans in their 40s being infected the most 

LDH data shows that people in their 40s have been infected the most in Louisiana. There have been no reported COVID-19 cases among children in the state.

Of the state's total confirmed cases:

  • 0 confirmed under 18 
  • 12 confirmed ages 18-29 
  • 32 confirmed ages 30-39
  • 56 confirmed ages 40-49
  • 50 confirmed ages 50-59
  • 44 confirmed ages 44
  • 46 confirmed aged 70+

In total, 13 of 64 parishes have so far had at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, per the LDH. All deaths have come from Orleans Parish

  • Orleans  -  196 case(s)  |  6 death(s)
  • Jefferson  -  45 case(s)  |  1 death(s)
  • St. Tammany  -  10 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • Caddo  -  6 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • Lafourche  -  3 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • St. Charles  -  3 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • Terrebonne  -  3 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • St. Bernard  -  3 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • Ascension  -  1 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • Bossier  -  2 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • East Baton Rouge  -  case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • St. John the Baptist  -  2 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • Washington  -  1 case(s)  |  0 death(s)

The numbers in the state jumped from 196 to 280 from Tuesday to Wednesday, a 43 percent hike. 

More state parks being used as staging areas 

Two more Louisiana state parks are now closed to the public to become staging areas for the state's coronavirus response, if they're needed. 

Chicot State Park is in Evangeline Parish, near Baton Rouge, and Lake Bistineau State Park is in Webster Parish near Shreveport. Both have been designated as staging areas to be used to supplement the overflow rooms the state has already set aside to isolate coronavirus patients, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser announced. 

Bayou Segnette State Park on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish was the first park to be announced as COVID-19 designated staging area. 

All other state parks remain open to the public.

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Lakeside Mall partially closes

From mall managers: 

Lakeside Shopping Center’s main mall is temporarily closed because of the Coronavirus COVID-19. This closure includes any interior facing stores. A store or restaurant with exterior exits are allowed to open at its discretion. 

At this time, J.C. Penney & Dillard’s remain open. 

Store hours are listed below: 

J.C. Penney – Monday-Saturday 12 p.m. - 7 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

Dillard’s - Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

All restaurants on property are open and are offering take-out options. 

Lakeside Restaurants Offering Take-out/Curbside Pickup: 

Bravo's - 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. - (504) 828-8828 

Fleming's - 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. - (504) 799-0335 

P.F. Chang's - 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. - (504) 828-5288 

Pokeworks - 11 a.m. -8 p.m. - (504) 218-5352 

Puccino's - 6 a.m. - 3 p.m. - (504) 835-3151 

Red Lobster - 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. - (504) 838-1285 

Starbucks on Causeway Blvd. - 5 a.m.- 9:30 p.m. - (504) 239-8713 

The Cheesecake Factory - 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. - (504) 837-1818

Schools offering meals to students, parish by parish

With school out around the New Orleans area because of the coronavirus pandemic, several parishes in Southeast Louisiana are offering grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for students on the weekdays. 

So far, Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. Bernard, St. John and Lafourche parishes have announced information on their meal programs. Terrebonne Parish officials say they are currently working on setting up a program.  

Click below is a parish by parish list of meal pick up locations and information. As of now, school will remain closed from Monday, March 13, through Monday, April 13.

See more 

Volunteer law professor at Loyola dies from COVID-19

A volunteer adjunct professor at Loyola's Law School and a resident of Lambeth House has died after contracting the coronavirus, the Loyola campus newspaper the Maroon reports.

James Carriere, who had also been a magistrate judge, was a volunteer professor and taught federal criminal law and some trial advocacy seminars for the past 10 years at the school, according to University President Tania Telow, who sent out an email to students.

According to Tetlow, Carriere was not teaching this spring semester and had no on-campus office.

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.

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.

More Stories: 

RELATED: Louisiana Coronavirus Outbreak Interactive Map

RELATED: LIST: New Orleans-area cancelled and postponed events

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