2nd virus death reported in parish
A second death in St. Landry Parish was reported Friday by the Louisiana Department of Health. The first death in the parish was reported on Monday.
The parish had 68 cases as of the noon Friday reported in the state coronavirus COVID-19 update. Wednesday’s parish count was 45 cases in St. Landry Parish.
On Friday, there were 370 coronavirus deaths in the state, 10,297 cases reported, 1,707 people in hospitals from the virus and 535 people on ventilators.
The virus was confirmed in 61 of the 64 parishes.
Last week was when the first person tested positive at Acadian Medical Center.
On Thursday, St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz urged busineses and clergy to obey Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proclamation limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people. The sheriff reminded people he would arrest offenders.
Acadia Parish Sheriff K.P. Gibson announced a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew that went into effect Thursday.
Also on Thursday, Edwards extended a stay-at-home order until April 30. The order extends the length of time that schools and some businesses are closed and continues limits on the size of gatherings.
“It is absolutely critical that each Louisianan take this stay at home order seriously. Act as if your life depends on it – because it does. We have seen federal modeling data that shows that Louisiana could see more than 1,800 deaths by August,” Edwards stated in a news release.
The surge in confirmed cases last week was partly attributed to more testing being conducted. Friday’s noon update reported 4,037 tests completed in state labs and 49,608 in commercial labs and reported to the state.
Edwards said there had been a logjam in the state getting test results.
“We have one of the highest per-capita rates of testing in the country,” Edwards said on a New Orleans radio show Thursday morning.
In a news conference Thursday Edwards said, “... we have more people dying [per capita] because we have more people with diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease and kidney disease. But we also have a lot more COVID-19 in Louisiana than we previously thought as the last three days of test results have unequivocally shown.”
Louisiana’s modeling data show the state on course to require 2,500 new hospitalizations a day in the New Orleans area by mid-May, if the public does not adhere to COVID-19 mitigation measures like Edwards’ stay at home order.
Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health on Friday shared a product of the state’s COVID-19 modeling that takes into account the governor’s mitigation measures.
“There are increasing efforts across the country to understand the impact of social distancing, school closures, stay at home orders and other mitigation measures as we strive to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus,” Edwards said. “What we are seeing is that many Louisianans are taking this seriously. Unfortunately, there are still others who are not, and perhaps it is because we have not fully impressed upon all of our citizens the serious consequences of not staying at home.”
With schools closed, the Louisiana Department of Education released guidelines to school systems regarding how they can ensure high school seniors who were on track to graduate this spring can still do so on-time and without penalty. Details of the school plan are in a story on Page 3.
On Friday, the St. Landry Parish School Board announced an emergency meals program will resume on Monday.
Acadiana coronavirus numbers include the following:
Lafayette Parish, 276 cases, 2 deaths;
Iberia Parish, 78 cases, 3 deaths;
Acadia Parish, 72 cases; 1 death;
St. Martin Parish, 69 cases, 3 deaths;
St. Mary Parish, 47 cases;
Evangeline Parish, 18 cases; and
Vermilion Parish, 18 cases, 1 death.
The department of health updates its coronavirus at noon daily. Those updates are ldh.la.gov/coronavirus/