Newly released data from the White House shows that Louisiana is having fewer new COVID cases than other southern states. According to the data, Louisiana has the lowest number of per capita cases among any Southern state. Louisiana is one of the 15 states in the “orange zone” for new cases per-capita while most states in the country are in the “red zone.” The state is also ranked 34th when it comes to positivity rates.
However, leaders warn of an expected spike of cases in the fall.
“I predict there’s going to be another spike,” Dr. Jimmy Guidry, the State Health Officer of Louisiana, said during a legislative hearing earlier this month. “And it’s going to be in flu season. And we’re going to see as much if not more than we saw in the spring.”
With the colder weather, people will be head back indoors and that is where health officials say the coronavirus spreads more freely. With Phase 3’s looser restrictions, more people are gathering together in restaurants, stadiums, and schools. Many are hosting more mask-less gatherings. These are reasons the state could see a spike, officials said.
As of October 19, the overall coronavirus cases continue to grow statewide and in East Baton Rouge and Tangipahoa parishes.
East Baton Rouge Parish had 15,717 known COVID-19 cases and 456 deaths, as reported by the Louisiana Department of Health. Tangipahoa parish had 4,895 known COVID-19 cases and 456 deaths as of Oct. 19.
There has not been a decrease in cases nor deaths since the coronavirus was first reported in March. Statewide, Black people are contracting the virus and dying at higher rate than others. To date, 45% of the people who have died from COVID were Black, although Blacks only makeup 14% of the state’s population.
The Louisiana Department of Health recommends COVID-19 testing for anyone who experiences symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. In the Baton Rouge and Ponchatoula areas, there are 66 testing sites registered with the department at www.ldh.la.gov for residents to get confidential COVID tests.ℜ
ξ By Cora Lester
The Drum Managing Editor
Data and charts derived from http://www.usafacts.org