Coronavirus In Louisiana: What You Need To Know Today

Mar 26, 2020
Originally published on April 1, 2020 5:33 pm

The latest on the spread of coronavirus in New Orleans and across Louisiana today, March 26.

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6:30 p.m.

One of the major hospital systems in New Orleans, LCMC Health, says its started receiving needed supplies, including personal protective equipment, for its facilities across the city. 

Seventeen pallets of N95 masks, surgical gowns, gloves and other supplies arrived by truck Thursday. Extra ventilators were received the night before, according to LCMC. 

LCMC is treating COVID-19 patients at its hospitals across the city, including:  Children's Hospital New Orleans, New Orleans East Hosptial, West Jefferson Medical Center, University Medical Center New Orleans and Touro. 


5:10 p.m.

The United States now has more than 82,404 known cases of COVID-19, surpassing China's 81, 782.

There are 80,589 cases in Italy as of 5:10 p.m. Thursday.

This data comes from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, which offers a dashboard tracking global coronavirus data.


3 p.m.

New Orleans is a city of social closeness — of parades, of sweaty dance floors, of social clubs, of tourist attractions teeming with bodies.

And now it’s a city with the highest rate of deaths from COVID-19 per capita.

As of noon Thursday, 46 people have died in Orleans Parish — home to New Orleans — which has a population of about 391,000. That’s are 11.8 deaths per 100,000 residents.

That rate is far ahead of other cities and counties in the U.S., according to data from the New York Times. King County, Washington, has the next highest rate of COVID-19 deaths per capita: 4.5. And though New York City has the highest number of deaths, 280, its rate per 100,000 people is 3.2. (Note: New York City is made up of several counties, but individual county data was unavailable.)

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Another 18 people have died of COVID-19 in Louisiana and another 510 people are confirmed to be sick from the coronavirus, the Louisiana Department of Health reports.

As testing efforts continue to ramp up, this is, for the second day in a row, the largest jump in the number of known cases since the first case was confirmed on March 9.

The latest numbers show the total number of people who have died to be 83. The total number of people confirmed sick with COVID-19 is 2,305.

There are 676 people hospitalized in the state with COVID019, and 239 of them are on ventilators — a resource officials and doctors say the state is in desperate need of.

The state lab has completed 2,254 tests. Commercial labs have completed 15,775 tests.

In Orleans Parish alone there are 997 known cases of COVID-19. Forty-six people have died. 

There are 458 cases in Jefferson Parish, where 12 people have died; 115 cases in Caddo Parish, where 1 person has died; and 105 cases in East Baton Rouge Parish, where 4 people have died.

There are now known COVID-19 cases in 53 of the state's 64 parishes. Gov. Edwards said yesterday that, confirmed or not, there are almost certainly cases in every parish.


11:20 a.m.

Dr. Jeff Elder was an intern at Charity Hospital when Hurricane Katrina hit the city. He figured that would be the biggest emergency he’d deal with in his career.

He was wrong.

“This is a much bigger and longer health care emergency,” he said. “This is going to be a nationwide response and pandemic that I think none of our health care providers have seen in their career. And hopefully we don't see again.”

The coronavirus has upended nearly every aspect of life in Louisiana and the nation, but if the worst-case scenario projections come true, this could be the calm before the storm.

On Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said the state’s rate of growth for new positive cases leads the nation. And earlier this week, he warned that state hospitals are on track to reach their capacity by April 4. He’d already warned that the state is on a path toward a situation comparable to the one in Italy — a nation whose healthcare system has been overrun by the virus, sending hospitals into chaos and posing the threat of collapse. And so far, extreme stay-at-home measures haven’t slowed the rising number of cases.

“This is a very serious situation. We haven't flattened the curve yet," Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday. “There’s nothing in today’s report that suggests our trajectory is changing. It’s more of the same and that’s disconcerting to me.”

According to a study by Harvard researchers in collaboration with ProPublica and The New York Times, in a worst-case scenario, where 60 percent of the state contracted the coronavirus over six months, New Orleans’ hospitals would need to more than double their capacity. State-wide, that capacity would need to be would need to nearly triple what it is now.

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