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Louisiana Coronavirus Updates: 13,010 cases, 477 deaths reported

Louisiana saw a 20% increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state Saturday and officials say that trend could continue Sunday.
Credit: TEGNA

This live blog has ended. Read live updates for Monday, April 6

Latest Numbers:

  • 477 deaths  
  • 13,010 total cases 
  • 1,803 patients hospitalized 
  • 561 in need of ventilators 
  • 61 of 64 parishes reporting cases 
  • 60,325 tests completed

Key Updates:

  • Louisiana remains one of the states hardest hit by the new coronavirus in the country, registering more than 10,000 cases of the disease. 
  • Governor John Bel Edwards says the state is working to better track tests that have been lagging behind for nearly two weeks for some commercial labs, causing a significant problem for health officials in understanding the spread, and eventual peak, of the pandemic in Louisiana.
  • Edwards' Stay-at-Home order, first mandated on March 22, has officially been extended until April 30 to curb the spread of the virus. 
  • The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced in Louisiana on March 9 in New Orleans. 

Read yesterday's blog 

68 new deaths reported, 13,000 cases in Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed just over 13,000 cases of coronavirus in the state Sunday. At least 477 people have died from COVID-19. 

The 68 new deaths are the most reported in a single day, as Gov. John Bel Edwards and other elected officials warn that hospitals could reach their capacity within the week. 

Gov. Edwards: ventilators will run out April 9

Gov. John Bel Edwards gave the latest update on the state's ventilator capacity on CNN's State of the Union show, saying that the latest information from his administration's models shows Louisiana will run out of life-saving ventilators by April 9. 

That grim deadline is a week back from April 2, the original date Louisiana was expected to run out. 

Social distancing measures and a slow trickle of ventilators from the federal Strategic National Stockpile and private vendors have been pushing the date back one or two days at a time.  

Edwards said ICU beds were expected to run out two days later, on April 11. 

The governor also addressed Rev. Tony Spell, the pastor in Central, La. who has made national headlines for flouting the state's stay at home order by drawing large crowds to his services – sometimes hundreds, often bused in from other parishes. 

"We can't enforce our way out of this," Edwards said, adding that he was appealing to Spell to do the right thing. 

Legendary Saint Tom Dempsey dies of coronavirus

Tom Dempsey, the iconic New Orleans Saints placekicker, died Saturday of complications from coronavirus, his family said. He was 73. 

Dempsey was one of the patients who contracted the virus at Lambeth House, a senior care facility in New Orleans that has seen a cluster of COVID-19 cases and deaths. 

Dempsey is fondly remembered by Saints fans for his last-second field goal in the old Tulane Stadium on Nov. 8, 1970. That kick carried the Saints 19-17 over the Detroit Lions and earned Dempsey a place in Saints history. 

More than 400 people have died in the state from coronavirus. 

2,200 new cases reported

Louisiana saw a 20% increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state Saturday. 

The state's total number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased from 10,297 to 12,496, a jump of about 2,200 cases. 409 people have died of complications related to COVID-19 in the state so far.

Slidell sets nightly curfew 'until further notice'

Slidell city leaders issued a mandatory curfew that will begin Friday night and will be in effect until further notice. The curfew begins at 11 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m.

Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said that there has been significant police activity during the late evening and early morning hours which could potentially expose officers to COVID-19. Fandal asked residents who are not conducting essential business or going to work to stay home.

"I am ready more than anyone to get my life back to normal. But we can't until we flatten this damn curve," Fandal said.

Coronavirus cases reported at 61 Louisiana nursing homes

Health officials say that cases of the coronavirus disease have been reported in 61 of Louisiana’s 436 nursing homes as of Friday.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, a total of 261 patients within nursing homes have reported having COVID-19. Another 60 nursing home patients have died from the disease since the outbreak began on March 9.

224 of the 370 deceased from COVID-19 in Louisiana have been 70 years of age or older. The most infected age by caseload is 50-59, which account for more than 1/5 of all confirmed cases in the state.

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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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