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.

Livingston Parish has its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, which has reached 392 positive cases in Louisiana, according to the Department of Health.

The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, experienced nearly a 30-percent jump in the last 24 hours and has now infected 26 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, the Department of Health reported in its Thursday afternoon figures.

There have now been 10 deaths from the coronavirus in Louisiana, which is experiencing one of the fastest rates of spread in the country.

Gov. John Bel Edwards continued to stress the need to “flatten the curve” during a press conference Thursday afternoon that ended with him comparing Louisiana to Italy, one of the international hotbeds for the coronavirus.

"If the people of Louisiana don't take these mitigation measures seriously, we could look like Italy," Edwards said.

The dire situation has now officially reached Livingston Parish, which was one of nine new parishes to confirm a positive test Thursday.

In an attempt to stem the virus’ spread, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday issued a month-long ban on public gatherings of 50 or more people and ordered that all casinos, bars, movie theaters, gyms, and studios be closed.

Additionally, restaurants are closed to on-site dining but may still offer take-out, drive-through and delivery services, and public schools K-12 statewide have been shut down.

These measures are in place until April 13, but the governor has said that plan would be reevaluated seven days prior to that date.

The State Lab has completed 899 tests as of Thursday afternoon, resulting in a positive rate of 43.6 percent. Louisiana has one of the highest rates of cases in the country on a per-capita basis, officials have said.

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