DeSoto Parish reports first 2 cases of coronavirus as state total surges past 500


BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — DeSoto Parish is reporting its first two cases of coronavirus and Bossier Parish now has five reported cases, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

The update Friday morning also reflected three new cases in Caddo Parish, bringing the total there to 13, but as of the 5:30 p.m. update Friday, the number of cases there was listed at 12. No new cases were reported in Webster Parish, which reported its first case on Thursday. Minden Mayor Terry Gardner confirmed to KTAL/KMSS Friday that the patient was a Minden resident who is currently self-quarantined at home.

Overall, there are now 537 cases reported in Louisiana as of 5:30 p.m. Friday. That is a total of 145 new cases for the day. 1,084 tests have been completed by the state lab, according to LDH.

MORE: Virus cases top 500 in Louisiana, new testing sites open

The new case numbers come less than an hour after the state health department confirmed a fourth death Friday from the coronavirus, bringing the current total number of deaths in the state to 14.

The four new deaths included a 72-year-old Orleans Parish resident and a 49-year-old Orleans Parish resident in addition to the 38-year-old Catahoula Parish resident and 77-year-old Jefferson Parish reported earlier in the day. All are said to have had underlying medical conditions.

28 out of the state’s 64 parishes are now reporting cases.

LDH officials also announced Friday morning that an out-of-state resident from Mississippi died from COVID-19 at a facility in St. Tammany Parish. They said Mississippi officials are aware.

The LDH COVID-19 dashboard does not include data on out-of-state residents, as that information is included in other states’ case counts.

Gov. Edwards did not hold a briefing Friday but released a statement reminding the public of restrictions that are in place to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

“Today Louisiana confirmed four deaths related to COVID-19 and 145 new cases of the illness, which is rapidly spreading in our state and is now in 27 parishes. As I have noted many times before, the coming days and weeks are critical to flattening the curve and reducing the spread of illness in Louisiana. This afternoon, I provided an update to Vice President Mike Pence on the situation in Louisiana and spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci to discuss the current mitigation measures we have in place in Louisiana, including the enhanced measures just announced in New Orleans,” Gov. Edwards said.

“We have put in place aggressive measures already, including limiting the size of gatherings to fewer than 50 people, closing public schools, bars, casinos, movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers and limiting restaurants to drive through, take out or delivery options. I am supportive of local efforts, like those from Mayor LaToya Cantrell in New Orleans, to further reduce the spread in their communities. All people must heed the orders of both state and local officials during this critical time.”

MORE: Gov. Edwards updates public health emergency to waive education requirements, speed lab testing for COVID-19

LDH will continue to report COVID-19 related deaths twice per day, at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., as needed.

While older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk, everyone can become exposed to COVID-19 and must be vigilant to protect their health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the serious chronic health conditions include heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

For updates on positive cases and deaths, visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s COVID-19 webpage.

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 cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
  • Avoiding close contact with others
  • And staying home if you are sick

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