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Coronavirus In Louisiana: What You Need To Know Today

Apr 6, 2020
Originally published on April 6, 2020 3:43 pm

The latest on the spread of coronavirus in New Orleans and across Louisiana today, April 6.

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3:15 p.m.

A little more than 70 percent of the people who have died from COVID-19 in Louisiana were black, Gov. John Bel Edwards said during his daily press conference.

Thirty-two percent of the state population is black, according to 2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Edwards said the Lousiana Department of Health would release updated data on race and coronavirus weekly going forward.

Read more

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2 p.m.

NOLA Public Schools announced Monday that rideshare company Lyft is now offering free rides to families picking up grab-and-go meals at food distribution sites in Orleans Parish.

According to a press release from the district, Lyft has donated $5,000 worth of free rides. Starting Monday, families can access the free rides by plugging a promo code into the Lyft app. Here’s how:

  • Open the Lyft app
  • Tap the menu icon in the top left corner
  • Tap ‘Promos’ in the menu that appears
  • Tap ‘Enter promo code’ and enter this code: CV19NOLAPS20
  • Tap ‘Apply’ to finish

More information on how to use promo codes can be found on Lyft’s website.

The district said about 119,600 grab-and-go meals have been served to Orleans Parish students since the program began March 16. A full list of food distribution sites can be found here. Meals are only offered twice a week — on Mondays and Wednesdays — but families are allowed to pick up meals for multiple days at a time.

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1:50 p.m.

NOLA Public Schools will begin distributing Chromebook laptops to students who need them at home, the school district said Monday in a press release.

Since public schools were ordered shut by Gov. John Bel Edwards last month, many schools have started offering distance learning for their students. That takes many forms and varies by school, but includes things such as links to online resources, virtual office hours, and physical work packets to complete at home.

But because many students do not have access to computers or wifi at home, the Orleans Parish School Board authorized the district’s purchase of 10,000 Chromebooks and 8,000 wireless hotspots for students who need them most. NOLA Public Schools said it has been working with individual schools to assess the needs of their students.

Read more

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Noon

Another 35 people in Louisiana have died of COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 512.

There are now 14,867 known cases across the state, up 1,857 from noon yesterday.

State and commercial labs have completed 69,166 tests.

There are 1,809 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 563 of whom are on ventilators.

The virus is confirmed to be in 62 of Louisiana's 64 parishes, though officials have repeatedly said it's safe to assume it's already reached all of them.

There are 4,565 known cases of COVID-19 in Orelans Parish, where 171 people have died. In Jefferson Parish, there are 3,530 known cases and 121 people have died. In East Baton Rouge, 816 known cases and 25 people dead. Caddo Parish: 711 and 21. St. Tammany Parish: 637 and 17.

Here's the rundown of cases and deaths by age group:

70+: 2,59 cases, 300 deaths

60-69: 2,649 cases, 97 deaths

50-59: 3,117 cases, 64 deaths

40-49: 2,759 cases, 30 deaths

30-39: 2,380 cases, 14 deaths

18-29: 1,477 cases, four deaths

126 cases, one death

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11:30 a.m.

Louisiana has the highest rate of deaths from COVID-19 in the nation, and all indications are that the black community is getting hit hardest.

Elroy James is the president of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, a center of black culture in New Orleans. Just a little over a month ago he was riding high in Zulu’s Mardi Gras morning parade, kissing babies and shaking hands. A month later, twenty of his club brothers have been hospitalized and five are dead.

What makes it even worse, James said, is, “We are not able to honor the lives of these guys the way we would have traditionally done.”

Because of restrictions on public gatherings, they cannot hold traditional jazz funerals or second lines. All he can do is console families over the phone and pray for them.

Louisiana District 2 Congressman Cedric Richmond is following the issue closely and wants the CDC to release more information about the racial makeup of fatalities.

“There's no doubt that it's going to impact African-American communities and poor communities worst,” Richmond said.

Read more

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10:30 a.m.

The state officially opened what it's calling a medical monitoring station today at Earnest N. Morial Convention Center.

As has been reported, the makeshift medical facility will take patients tranfered from local hospitals who are not critically ill, freeing up beds in those hospitals for those who are. There are 1,000 beds and 1,000 more being set up.

According to a press release from the City of New Orleans, "patients will receive housing, meals, low-intensity medical monitoring (e.g. vital signs twice daily), over the counter medications, and proximity to doctors, nurses and paramedics who can stabilize patients should they become in need of a higher level of care." Staffing is being provided by health care staffing company BCFS.

The state has also set up a "personal housing unit" on Lot F at the convention center, with 274 isolation units for people who need housing, meals and observation while awaiting test results.

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9:30 a.m.

Did you tune out this weekend? Good. If you're ready to do a little catching up, here's a quick rundown of how the landscape of coronavirus in Louisiana changed.

  • The total number of known cases grew from 10,297 on Friday to 13,010 on Sunday.
  • 107 people died — 68 of them between noon Saturday and noon Sunday. That's a record-high number of deaths reported here in 24 hours.
  • As of noon Sunday, there were 1,803 people in hospitals with COVID-19. 
  • 561 people were on ventilators as of noon Sunday. That's up from Friday but down from Saturday.
  • State and commercial labs in Louisiana have completed 60, 325 tests.

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