Coronavirus

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, green, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19.

Exactly two weeks after the first reported case, the novel coronavirus has surged past 1,000 positive cases in the state, according to the latest figures from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).

The total now stands at 1,172 positive cases, including five in Livingston Parish, the Department of Health reported on Monday.

The death toll from the coronavirus, or COVID-19, jumped to 34 from Sunday morning’s figures, including the first two confirmed deaths in East Baton Rouge Parish. Dr. William “Beau” Clark of the coroner’s office made the announcement Monday morning, saying that the virus took the lives of a 90-year-old man from Mississippi and a 44-year-old woman from Baton Rouge.

Across the state, the coronavirus has now infected 41 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, according to the Department of Health. Nearly half of those cases are in Orleans Parish (567), but the virus is starting to see growth in all parishes statewide.

Outside of Livingston Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish has spiked to 43 cases, Ascension Parish saw a jump to 26 cases, and St. John the Baptist Parish rose to 16.

To stem the disease’s spread, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a “stay at home” order for all of Louisiana on Sunday. The order will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 23, and last through at least Sunday, April 12.

Though the decision was “difficult,” Edwards said the order was necessary given the speed at which the disease is spreading Louisiana, which has the third-highest rate of confirmed cases per capita behind only New York and Washington state.

The Department of Health will release its next figures at noon Tuesday, following the once-a-day pattern used by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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