The latest on the spread of coronavirus in New Orleans and across Louisiana today, April 7.
Want to take a breather and catch up later? Sign up for our New Orleans Public Radio newsletter and we'll send you a news roundup at the end of each week.
Or, if you're in Baton Rouge, sign up for WRKF's weekly newsletter.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Tuesday that new data models show a better outlook for Louisiana in its fight against the coronavirus, even as the state department of health reported an additional 70 COVID-19 related deaths — the largest single-day increase to date.
Edwards said testing delays and Louisianan’s high rates of comorbid conditions make it difficult to use case totals and related deaths to track the outbreak. Instead, the state is basing their models on new hospitalizations and ventilator usage.
Edwards and LDH officials say according to those metrics, the state is in a better position than it was one week ago.
“We still cannot say with absolute confidence that the curve is flattening, but we are still seeing more evidence that we are moving in that direction,” Edwards said at his Tuesday press briefing.
He added that the state no longer expects the New Orleans region to exceed its ventilator capacity “in the next 10 days to two weeks." He credited the success of social distancing measures, the state’s acquisition of 793 ventilators and evolving healthcare protocols that aim to keep COVID-19 patients off ventilators as long as possible.
The Louisiana Department of Health reports another 70 people have died of COVID-19 and there are an additional 1,417 known cases in Louisiana.
That's a record-high increase in the number of people reported dead in 24 hours in the state. The previous record was 68 people, reported on Saturday.
In all, 582 people have died and 16,284 are known to be sick.
State and commercial labs have completed 5,489 more tests.
There are 1,996 people hospitalized across the state, according to the LDH, and 519 of them are on ventilators. That's another 15 people reported hospitalized since yesterday, but a big decrease in the number of people on ventilators — down 33. (Note: This paragraph has been updated to reflect a change in the numbers reported by LDH. A release from the department incidcates that numbers it released yesterday were incorrect.)
Cases of COVID-19 are now confirmed in all but one parish — Tensas. But, again, officials have emphasized that the coronavirus is pretty certainly everywhere.
In Orelans Parish, we know that 185 people have died and 4,842 are sick. In Jefferson Parish, 137 people have died and 3,992 people are sick. In East Baton Rouge Parish, it's 31 and 892.
The Louisiana Department of Health released new information on race, ethnicity and underlying conditions of those who have died of COVID-19.
That includes two big pieces of information mentioned by Gov. John Bel Edwards at his press conference yesterday: 70.48 percent of those who have died of COVID-19 so far in Louisiana were black and 66.4 percent had hypertension.
Previously, the most prevelant underlying condition was given as diabetes — present in 40 percent of the dead.
We can't do this without you. Your support is vital for the news you rely on and the programming you love. If you can't imagine New Orleans without New Orleans Public Radio, please donate today. And if you can't imagine Baton Rouge without WRKF, donate here.