21,016 cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana, 884 deaths

21,016 cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana, 884 deaths
Coronavirus update (Source: KCBD Graphic)

The Louisiana Department of Health is reporting 21,016 cases of the COVID-19 virus in the state with 884 deaths as of Monday afternoon (April 13).

The state saw small increases in hospitalizations and patients on vents, but based on the modeling numbers Louisiana is in a better place than it was several days ago.

Federal testing sties in New Orleans will move to Gramercy and Hahanville. The testing site at the Alario Center in Jefferson Parish will remain open.

Edwards also announced the creation of a “COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.” The team will make sure people with health disparities are taken care of.

Health officials will continue to address the fact that 70% of the deaths have been African-Americans.

The governor stressed that this is not a time to let up your guard. Stay home. Stay safe. Don’t participate in a large gathering.

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized has reached 2,134. Of those, 461 patients require ventilation.

Orleans Parish reports 5,651 positive cases and Jefferson Parish reports 5,088 cases.

More than 102,000 tests have been conducted by commercial labs and 5,589 tests have been conducted by state labs.

All 64 of the state’s parishes have confirmed cases.

“If we start flattening the curve it’s only because of the mitigation practices.,” Edwards said.

New hospital admissions are trending downward.

Just over 70% of COVID-19 deaths in Louisiana are African-Americans. The state is looking into that number for more answers.

"We'll be looking at this data over the next several days to come," Edwards said.

Edwards thanked Pres. Donald Trump for the 200 ventilators he sent. Arkansas will be sending ventilators to the state as well. The governor thanked both the president and Arkansas governor for the much needed equipment.

What ventilator use decrease reflects is improvements in the way we are dispensing medical care resulting in the number of people placed on vents and the amount of time a person is on a vent.

All 64 parishes have received donations of PPE. @Apple sent 400,000 masks. @AmeriCorps has sent 14,000 N95 masks as well.

A lot of this has to do with the great work being done in Louisiana hospitals themselves.

The Louisiana Department of Health will start showing new data on deaths including race, underlying conditions and date of death. Information will be updated every week.

The governor said on face-coverings, most importantly you are protecting others from yourself. You do not need to do this when exercising or where you'll be in extended distance of other people.

SEE FULL LOCAL AND NATIONAL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE HERE

The governor and state health leaders continue to ask people to stay at home, or call 211 if they have symptoms. Doctors are close to being overwhelmed, so only call medical workers if you have a fever, dry cough and feel beyond like normal cold-like symptoms.

Businesses need to find a way to keep people at home. RTA will only offer essential services.

The city of New Orleans urged citizens to stay at home in a tweet after a high increase in reported numbers.

“As #COVID19 #Coronavirus testing capacity continues to expand, we will have a better understanding of the rate of infection locally. But what these numbers indicate is what we already expected: that there is substantial community spread. That’s why it’s so critical to stay home,” Cantrell said in a statement.

Edwards continued to stress that people should stay at home, and avoid large gatherings.

“Please stop what you’re doing. In the grand scheme of things, it just doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Officials continue to push ways to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

These precautions include:

  • Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and frequently
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with your arm
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
  • Avoiding close contact with others
  • And staying home if you are sick

The first case of COVID-19 was announced in New Orleans on March 9.

Several parishes are offering testing for COVID-19. Each testing site has its own criteria and protocol. It is advised to call first before heading to a location to confirm they are open and have not met the testing cap for the day.

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