Gov. Edwards: Data to be released will show 70% of COVID-19 deaths in La. are African American


BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Beginning this week, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals will be releasing weekly updates on the demographics of fatal COVID-19 cases and times of death.

During his Monday press briefing, Gov. John Bel Edwards said nearly 70 percent of the deaths related COVID-19 in Louisiana are African American. Hypertension remains the most common underlying condition in patients.

As of April 6, the number of statewide cases was just under 15,000 with 35 additional deaths overnight. That’s nearly half the 68 coronavirus-related deaths reported by Louisiana health officials on Sunday, marking the state’s biggest jump in reported deaths since the outbreak began.

RELATED: COVID-19 cases top 1,000 in NWLA; new deaths reported in Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto

More than 1,800 people are hospitalized, with 563 on ventilators, according to the LDH. Those numbers have not risen significantly since Sunday’s update, which could be a sign that the spread of the virus is slowing.

In the next few days, state officials will be watching data to see if Louisiana closer to “flattening the curve” in the number of coronavirus cases. Edwards said social distancing and the statewide stay-at-home order are credited for fewer cases reported.

He reminded residents that this doesn’t mean the order will be lifted any time soon.

“We need to keep doing what we’ve been doing to have the best possible outcome,” he said. “This is not the time to become lax and ease up.”

Though not a state mandate, wearing face masks in encouraged when residents must go out into the public, are recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the governor said.

As of Monday, Louisiana has received 753 ventilators including 200 from the national stockpile.

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