BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Louisiana Department of Health is reporting 9,150 positive cases of COVID-19 and 310 deaths from the coronavirus in the state as of 12 p.m. Thursday.
That’s another 2,725 new cases, which is a 42 percent increase since Wednesday. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a WWL radio interview Wednesday morning that the surge in cases is the result of a backlog in test results coming in.
More than 95% of these positive results are from tests conducted in commercial labs, according to a statement released by the governor’s office shortly after the updated numbers were released.
“While extremely upsetting, this increase in COVID-19 cases appears to be less a sign of new exponential growth and more a sign of a logjam from commercial labs,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “I am pleased to see a ramp up in testing across the state. We need this energy and commitment to continue. It’s important to understand that what’s happening in Louisiana with the increased testing is also happening around the country. That said, as more and more commercial labs come online our different data systems must learn to talk to one another.
“I have said time and again – COVID-19 is a statewide problem and testing is a vital step towards understanding the scale of this problem. We believe COVID-19 is spreading in every parish in Louisiana.”
310 people have now died in Louisiana from the coronavirus since the first case was reported on March 9. The state’s first death was reported on March 14. The number of people hospitalized for the coronavirus has reached 1,639, with 507 of them on ventilators. 61 out of the 64 parishes are now reporting cases.
Thursday’s new numbers also show additional deaths in Caddo, Bossier and Webster Parish, and Claiborne Parish is reporting its first two deaths, bringing the total in the region to 18. There are now 512 cases confirmed across the following parishes:
- Caddo – 336 case(s) | 10 death(s) | 123 state tests | 9,397 commercial tests
- Bossier – 87 case(s) | 2 death(s) | 28 state tests | 1,297 commercial tests
- De Soto – 42 case(s) | 1 death(s) | 7 state tests | 45 commercial tests
- Webster – 19 case(s) | 2 death(s) | 8 state tests | 367 commercial tests
- Claiborne – 11 case(s) | 2 death(s) | 5 state tests | 27 commercial tests
- Bienville – 8 case(s) | 1 death(s) | 3 state tests | 11 commercial tests
- Natchitoches – 4 case(s) | 0 death(s) | 11 state tests | 112 commercial tests
- Sabine – 4 case(s) | 0 death(s) | 3 state tests | 40 commercial tests
- Red River – 1 case(s) | 0 death(s) | 23 state tests | 27 commercial tests
Gov. Edwards has continued to step up the urgency in his push for citizens to do their part to slow the spread of the virus as the state works with private vendors and the federal government to prepare for a surge in the need for medical capacity.
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