BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide in Louisiana has risen by 1,705 and another seven deaths are reported, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 79,827 and 3,315 deaths as a statewide mandatory mask order goes into effect.
According to the Louisiana Department of Health, 94 percent of the cases reported to the state Monday were community spread and 35 percent of the cases are of individuals aged 29 and under.
Monday’s newly confirmed cases came from the results of 18,431 tests reported to the state health department since Sunday. Of those tests, 9.25 percent came back positive. The state’s daily positivity rate had dropped as low as 7.09 percent in early June before beginning to steadily rise again even as more tests were performed through the remainder of the month and into July.
According to the LDH, the collection dates for most of these cases fall between July 6, 2020 and July 13, 2020.
A statewide mask mandate went into effect on Monday after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a new executive order over the weekend expanding restrictions under the current Phase 2 order that also put tougher limits on group gatherings and shuttering bars.
Individual parishes in the state will be able to opt out of the mandate if they document fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 people during a 2-week period. Only three parishes in the state currently meet the requirement: Grant, Red River, and West Feliciana.
Edwards ratcheted up Louisiana’s restrictions to combat the coronavirus’s spread with the order aimed at trying to curb the sharp rise in infections of COVID-19 that is sparking troubling surges in hospitalization rates.
Statewide, hospitalizations for the coronavirus rose by another 65 Monday to 1,308. The number of patients on ventilators rose by eight to 142. Hospitalizations in Region 7 continue to rise to new heights, climbing by another 21 to 276.
“Right now, our hospitals, while we’re okay, we do have some hospitals that are holding people in the ER because they’re lacking on bed space,” LDH Region 7 Director Dr. Martha Whyte said Monday morning at a news conference held by Caddo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree announcing a two-week delay in the district’s start date.
“We’re not overwhelmed like some areas in the state,” said Whyte, “but we’re not far from being in that same position. So we have really taken a large step back. And if we want to get where we all want to get, which is Phase 3 and then even completely open, which is what we really all want, we need to do the things that we know will get us there.”
167 of the new cases reported Monday were in NWLA, including 90 in Caddo Parish and 41 more in Bossier. There are also 11 new cases reported in Red River, ten more in Sabine, and seven more in Webster.
Caddo and De Soto are also reporting one additional death each.
As of noon Monday, July 13, the LDH was reporting the following data on confirmed cases, deaths, and testing in Northwest Louisiana:
- Caddo – 4,413 case(s) | 248 death(s) | 609 state tests | 70,779 commercial tests
- Bossier – 1,315 case(s) | 39 death(s) | 268 state tests |28,233 commercial tests
- De Soto – 434 case(s) | 21 death(s) | 79 state tests | 5,933 commercial tests
- Webster – 542 case(s) | 12 death(s) | 178 state tests | 8,729 commercial tests
- Claiborne – 150 case(s) | 10 death(s) | 100 state tests | 2,725 commercial tests
- Bienville – 266 case(s) | 28 death(s) | 225 state tests | 3,314 commercial tests
- Natchitoches – 406 case(s) | 14 death(s) | 343 state tests | 5,334 commercial tests
- Sabine – 220 case(s) | 1 death(s) | 188 state tests | 3,527 commercial tests
- Red River – 91 case(s) | 9 death(s) | 86 state tests | 1,091 commercial tests
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up within weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and be life-threatening.
If you have a fever or cough, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away.