Louisiana coronavirus cases soar, state says New Orleans may be out of ventilators next week

Louisiana reported Thursday a spike of more than 500 positive coronavirus cases since yesterday and an additional 18 deaths due to the virus.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Health reported Wednesday afternoon,  a total of 2,305 COVID-19 coronavirus cases had been found in the state and 83 people have died from the virus in the state.

The state reported 510 additional cases since yesterday, including increases in Caddo Parish (additional 22 cases, bringing the total to 115) and Bossier Parish (additional 25 cases, bringing the total to 32).

Officials said the spike was not unexpected as testing capabilities continue to be ramped up and more patients are tested.

The increase in positive cases was 28 percent since the state updated numbers Wednesday.

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 Thursday 676 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, that’s more than double the figure two days ago when only 271 patients were hospitalized.

“Of those (hospitalized today), 239 require ventilation,” the state reported. “If Louisiana’s growth continues this way and the state is unable to flatten the curve, the New Orleans area could run out of vents by the first week of April.”

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: 489 positive cases, 1 death.
Arkansas: 335 positive cases, 2 deaths.
Florida: 2,235 positive cases, 28 deaths.
Georgia: 1,525 positive cases, 48 deaths.
Louisiana: 2,305 positive cases, 83 deaths.
Mississippi: 485 positive cases, 6 deaths.
Tennessee: 957 positives cases, 3 deaths.
Texas: 1,396 positive cases, 18 deaths.

Total cases across the South: 9,727

The number of people infected worldwide surpassed the 521,000 mark. Deaths were more than 23,500, but the number of people considered recovered reached more than 121,000, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The University’s tracking shows approximately 79,785 cases in the U.S., making the U.S. the country with the third highest number of cases just behind China and Italy, which reported 81,782 and 80,589.

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

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