Louisiana coronavirus cases spike overnight as testing ramps up

Published 2:57 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Louisiana reported a spike of more than 400 positive coronavirus cases since yesterday and an additional 19 deaths due to the virus.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Health reported Wednesday afternoon,  a total of 1,795 COVID-19 coronavirus cases had been found in the state and 65 people have died from the virus.

The spike in cases was not unexpected, officials said, as the number of tests being processed is rapidly increasing.

New Orleans area media reported earlier this week that Ochsner Health System, an enormous hospital system that operates across the state, was finalizing in-house testing. The hospital system said the move would rapidly increase the number of people it could test.

Perhaps more alarming is the rapid increase in the number of Louisiana COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization and ventilator assistance.

Louisiana Department of Health officials report that on Tuesday, 271 patients were hospitalized. That number rose to 491 in Wednesday’s update, a rise of 81% in a single day.

Of those hospitalized the numbers of patients requiring ventilation also spiked, going from 94 patients Tuesday to 163 Wednesday, or a 73-percent rise.

The number of positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus continue to rise across the South as well.

Here’s a breakdown, by state, from Wednesday morning:

Alabama: 283 positive cases, 0 deaths.
Arkansas: 280 positive cases, 2 deaths.
Florida: 1,583 positive cases, 22 deaths.
Georgia: 1,247 positive cases, 40 deaths.
Louisiana: 1,795 positive cases, 65 deaths.
Mississippi: 377 positive cases, 2 deaths.
Tennessee: 784 positives cases, 3 deaths.
Texas: 974 positive cases, 12 deaths.

Total cases across the South: 7,323

The number of people infected worldwide surpassed the 458,000 mark. Deaths were more than 20,000, but the number of people considered recovered reached more than 113,000, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The University’s tracking shows approximately 62,086 cases in the U.S., making the U.S. the country with the third highest number of cases behind China and Italy, which reported 81,661 and 74,386.

Everyone is warned to take the necessary precautions to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and stay safe and healthy.

These precautions include:

Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and frequently
Covering your cough or sneeze with your arm
Avoiding touching your face
Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
Avoiding close contact with others
And staying home if you are sick