Louisiana COVID-19 update, 3/25/20

UPDATED 3 p.m.: The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has reported its first positive test for coronavirus today as the number of identified cases in the state approached 1,800.

University President Joseph Savoie released a letter stating that the student does not live on campus, nor were they a student resident this semester. According to Savoie the student did not exhibit symptoms while on campus.

Public health officials have been in touch with students, staff members and faculty who may have had direct contact with the student. Those individuals are being asked to follow guidance from the CDC and state health agencies, which is to self-isolate, monitor their own health for the next 14 days, and seek medical attention should they develop symptoms.

As UL sought to contain its first confirmed case of coronavirus on campus, the latest data from the Louisiana Department of Health showed cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana rose statewide to 1,795, up from 1,388 on Tuesday. 

That increase marks a 30 percent rise over the last 24 hours. That is more than twice the number of cases LDH reported Saturday evening.

On Tuesday, 271 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. Of those, 94 patients required ventilation. Today, 24 hours later, 491 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, with 163 patients requiring ventilation.

The LDH also reported COVID-19 clusters — two or more cases that appear to be connected — in six nursing homes in the state, but the department said it will not identify where positive cases have been identified. 

The death toll also rose during the last 24 hours, from 46 on Tuesday to 65 today, a 41 percent increase and nearly double the 34 deaths reported on Monday. 

Currently, three-fourths, or 48, of the state's 64 parishes have a resident who has tested positive for the virus. 

Today’s report continues tracking a rising trend in commercial testing, with 9,414 commercial tests submitted. The state lab has processed an additional 2,037 tests.

The number of cases identified in the 40 to 49 age group has risen to 362, with seven deaths reported. The 50-59 age range also had 362 cases, but twice the number of fatalities with 14. The 60 to 69 age group has 329 cases and deaths while the 70 and above group has 323 cases and 34 deaths — the largest number of fatalities for any age group. 

There are 256 identified cases in the 30-39 age group and two deaths. The 18 to 29 age group has 151 cases and the under 18 group nine. Neither of the two youngest ranges has had any fatal cases so far.

The gender of the reported cases has continued to skew more strongly to the female side, with 59 percent of reported cases in females and 41 percent in males.

More than half of the state's identified cases are in the greater New Orleans area. Orleans Parish accounts for 827 cases and 37 deaths, with another 359 cases and seven deaths next door in Jefferson Parish.

The breakdown of cases by parish of the patient’s residence is as follows:

• Parish under investigation - 11 cases, 1 death

• Acadia - 2 cases

• Allen - 2 cases

• Ascension - 65 cases, 1 death

• Assumption - 2 cases

• Avoyelles - 5 cases

• Beauregard - 3 cases

• Bienville - 1 case, 1 death

• Bossier - 25 cases

• Caddo - 93 cases

• Calcasieu - 11 cases, 1 death

• Catahoula - 1 case, 1 death

• Claiborne - 2 cases

• DeSoto - 8 cases

• East Baton Rouge - 75 cases, 3 death

• Evangeline - 2 cases

• Grant - 1 case

• Iberia - 2 cases

• Iberville - 14 case, 1 death

• Jackson - 1 case

• Jefferson - 359 cases, 7 deaths

• Jefferson Davis - 1 case

• Lafayette - 20 cases

• Lafourche - 18 cases

• Lincoln - 2 cases

• Livingston - 6 cases

• Morehouse - 1 case

• Natchitoches - 2 cases 

• Orleans - 827 cases, 37 deaths

• Ouachita - 10 cases, 1 death

• Plaquemines - 9 cases

• Rapides - 14 cases, 1 death

• Richland - 1 case

• St. Bernard - 23 cases

• St. Charles - 17 cases

• St. James - 14 cases, 1 death

• St. John the Baptist - 27 cases, 2 deaths

• St. Landry - 5 cases

• St. Martin - 1 case

• St. Mary - 2 cases

• St. Tammany - 67 cases, 1 death

• Tangipahoa - 5 cases

• Terrebonne - 15 cases

• Union - 2 cases

• Vernon - 2 cases

• Washington - 4 cases, 1 death

• Webster - 5 case, 1 death

• West Baton Rouge - 7 cases, 1 death

• Winn - 1 case

ORIGINAL POST, 12:05 p.m.: The Wednesday Louisiana Department of Health update on the growth of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state shows that the number of reported cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana rose to 1,795, up from 1,388 on Tuesday. 

That increase marks a 30 percent rise over the last 24 hours. That is more than twice the number of cases LDH reported Saturday evening.

The death toll also rose during the last 24 hours, from 46 on Tuesday to 65 today, a 41 percent increase. Currently, three-fourths, or 48, of the state's 64 parishes have a resident who has tested positive for the virus. 

This story will be updated shortly with more details of the latest update.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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