The study, which tested more than 2,500 Jefferson and Orleans Parish residents for COVID-19 and antibodies, provides valuable insights about the true spread of the virus in our community.
If found that nearly found 8% of Jefferson and Orleans Parish residents have been exposed to the disease.
Based on the prevalence rate, doctors presume that more than 64,000 residents in the two parishes have been infected.
More concerning is the fatality rate is 10 to 40 times higher than the seasonal flu.
However, 75% of infectious people were asymptomatic and approximately 40% of people never experience symptoms of COVID-19.
“Data collected in this study tells us that the actions of our state and local leaders to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the height of the outbreak in the spring were effective and necessary,” said Dr. Robert Hart, Chief Medical Officer, Ochsner Health. “The collective efforts of our leaders, businesses and neighbors have saved lives.”
They encourage people to continue washing their hands, wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
Virus spread in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes does not indicate that we are near herd immunity, which would occur with an exposure rate of approximately 70%.
A total of 2,640 adults were tested, selected from a pool of over 25,000 volunteers. Study participants represented all zip codes, ages, races and ethnicities of Jefferson and Orleans Parishes to accurately reflect the region.