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Coronavirus In Louisiana: What You Need To Know Today, April 13

Ben Depp
A closed playground in Audubon Park, New Orleans, Louisiana. April 7, 2020.

The latest on the spread of coronavirus in New Orleans and across Louisiana.

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.

--- 3 RTA Workers Die Of COVID-19, 1 In 8 Are Sick

4:45 p.m.'s Jessica Williams reports three Regional Transit Authority workers have died of COVID-19 and one in eight are sick.

Putting it another way: 69 of about 550 RTA employees have been sick with COVID-19.

Read more


Gov. Edwards Addresses Shift In Race Data, Unemployment

3:30 p.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards held his daily press conference today in Ouachita Parish, where several tornados touched down yesterday, and addressed the damage there as well as today's updates on the coronavirus in Louisiana.

Among the most notable updates: a drop in the percentage of people who have died of COVID-19 who were black. Last week it was around 70 percent. This week it's around 59 percent.

"That was the right percentage [last week] but that was the percentage of races of the individuals that were known," he said. "We've been able to update that a little bit.

"But what we know is the percentage of African Americans dying makes up at least twice what their percentage of the population is."

The governor also offered a glance at unemployment payments: $89 million paid out, with about $21 million coming from the state.

Edwards also noted that social distancing fell apart a bit over Easter weekend. He said received reports of gatherings around the state and asked "everyone to do better."


Latest LDH Data Shows 59 Percent Of Those Dead Of COVID-19 Were Black

12:30 p.m.

As promised, the Louisiana Department of Health has released updated data on race, ethnicity and underlying conditions of those have died of COVID-19.

The new report shows 59.29 percent of the people who have died of COVID-19 in Louisiana were black. That's down from a little more than 70 percent in last week's report.

A little more than 30 percent of those dead of COVID-19 were white, according to the new data. It also shows .83 percent were Asian, .12 percent were native Hawaiin, .71 percent were identified as "other" and 8.81 percent were identified as "unknown."

As for ethnicity: 73.3 percent were non-Hispanic/Latino, 1.07 percent were Hispanic/Latino, and 25.63 percent were identified as "unknown."

Hypertension still leads comorbidities. Here's the full breakdown:

Hyptertension: 59.76 percent
Diabetes: 38.1 percent
Chronic kidney disease: 22.5 percent
Obesity: 22.26 percent
Pulmonary: 12.98 percent
Congestive heart failure: 11.43 percent
Neurological: 9.17 percent
Cancer: 8.93 percent
Asthma: 4.52 percent


Another 44 People Reported Dead Of COVID-19 In Louisiana, Hospitalizations Climb By 50


Another 44 people have died of COVID-19 in Louisiana, according to the latest report of the state health department.

The total number of people dead from the disease in the state is now 884.

The number of people hospitalized climbed by 50 — the biggest increase in a week. There are 2,134 people in Louisiana hospitals with COVID-19. Of those, 461 people are on ventilators. That's an increase of just three since yesterday.

State and commercial labs have completed 102,502 tests, confirming 21,016 cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana.

The total number of cases is up 421 from yesterday. Since April 9, the number of new cases reported each day has steadily declined, as has the percent increase.

Credit Ashley Dean / WWNO

There are 5,651 known cases in Orleans Parish, where 244 people have died. There are 5,088 known cases in Jefferson Parish, where 186 people have died. In East Baton Rouge Parish, there are 1,273 known cases and 52 people have died.

In LDH Region 1 (the New Orleans area), 483 ICU beds are in use and 223 are available. There are 262 ventilators in use and 425 available.

Credit Louisiana Department of Health
Louisiana Department of Health


CDC Report Addresses Mardi Gras Impact — And The Fact That No One Was Canceling Big Events Back In February

11 a.m.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released a report packed with data on the spread of COVID-19.

First, here's what you came for:

Because COVID-19 is primarily transmitted by respiratory droplets, population density might also play a significant role in the acceleration of transmission. Cumulative incidence in urban areas like NYC and DC exceeds the national average. Louisiana, which experienced a temporarily high population density because of an influx of visitors during Mardi Gras celebrations in mid-February, has a higher cumulative incidence and greater increase in cumulative incidence than other states in the South. Mardi Gras, which concluded on February 25, occurred at a time when cancelling mass gatherings (e.g., festivals, conferences, and sporting events) was not yet common in the United States.

The meat of the report shows Louisiana among the states with the highest cumulative incidence.

What does that mean? Have a gulp of your coffee...

Read more


What Happened While You Were Trying To Stay Sane This Weekend

10 a.m.

Let's get caught up real quick.

Another 85 people were reported to have died from COVID-19 over the weekend. Saturday saw 51 reported deaths and Sunday saw 34.

And another 1,342 people tested positive for the coronavirus — 761 cases were confirmed on Saturday and 581 were confirmed on Sunday. State and commercial labs completed another 11,765 tests.

On Saturday, 13 more people were hospitalized. Another 17 were hospitalized on Sunday, bringing the total across the state to 2,084. The number of people on ventilators sank by nine on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. As of Sunday's noon update, 458 people were on ventilators.

That update puts the total case count in Orleans Parish at 5,600. It reports 235 people have died. In Jefferson Parish, there are 4,990 cases and 173 people have died. In East Baton Rouge Parish, there are 1,223 cases and 49 people have died. 

There are now confirmed cases in all 64 parishes.


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