NEW ORLEANS — Three more presumptive cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in Louisiana Tuesday night, including the first in St. Tammany Parish.
That brings the total presumptive cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Louisiana to six.
“Currently, we have a total of six presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in Louisiana. While we investigate these cases, we cannot disclose any additional information about these patients at this time," Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a press release Tuesday night.
All three new patients are Orleans Parish residents, according to the LDH. One of them was diagnosed and hospitalized in St. Tammany Parish.
Here is everything we know about the six patients diagnosed so far:
- One Jefferson Parish resident being treated at the VA Medical Center
- One Orleans Parish resident being treated at UMC
- One Orleans Parish resident being treated at Touro
- One Orleans Parish resident being treated at Tulane Medical Center
- One Orleans Parish residents being treated at unknown hospitals in Orleans Parish
- One Orleans Parish resident being treated at Slidell Memorial Hospital
The LDH said they could not disclose any other information on the patients.
The new information was released just hours after the St. Tammany Parish Government posted on Facebook saying that there were "no reported cases" in St. Tammany area hospitals.
Edwards noted that testing for the coronavirus is expanding in Louisiana.
"Testing for COVID-19 is expanding this week as commercial labs come on board. We expect to see more presumptive positives in the coming days and weeks and I am asking all Louisianans to remain vigilant as we work to contain the spread of this and other illnesses."
The cases are considered "presumptive" until officially confirmed by the Center for Disease Control. At this time, it is the only known case of the disease in the state. Edwards said that the test results will come in the next couple days.
The city of New Orleans cancelled all of this weekend's major public earlier in the night. The city of New Orleans is following in the footsteps of several other cities around the country that have curtailed events.
In Jefferson Parish, district-wide, in-person parent teacher conferences are canceled, field trips are postponed and large assemblies are being canceled as well.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.
Worldwide illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including severe pneumonia that can result in hospitalization or death.
Older people and people with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease or cancer seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.
People with recent travel to China, or have come in contact with someone who has recent travel and is ill, have a greater risk for becoming ill.
What to do if you are sick:
If you recently traveled to an area affected by COVID-19 transmission, and you feel sick, stay home and call your doctor immediately. Do not go to the doctor without calling first.
If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, call the Louisiana Department of Health hotline at 1-855-523-2652.
If you are severely ill and you think you need to go to the hospital, call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency room.
How to Prevent the Spread
The virus is thought to spread between people in close contact (within 6 feet) and through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wash hands with soap and water often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Especially wash hands after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Stay home if you feel sick to prevent the spread of germs.
- Cover your cough with your elbow to prevent the spread of germs.
Treatments for COVID-19
There are no medications specifically approved for COVID-19. People with coronavirus should be treated with supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
Some severe cases require going to the hospital, particularly in the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.