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  • Louisiana - 151,473 positive cases of COVID-19; 5,035 deaths

    Coast Guard, La. Health Department take steps in wake of coronavirus concerns

    By Sabrina Wilson | January 31, 2020 at 6:28 PM CST - Updated January 31 at 6:28 PM

    NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The Coast Guard and the Centers for Disease Control are making sure people on ships entering local ports do not have the coronavirus and the La. Department of Health has alerted healthcare providers to be on the look-out for patients with respiratory symptoms and a history of travel to China.

    Lt. John Edwards, Public Affairs Officer for the Coast, said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is committed to protecting the American people.

    "The Coast Guard, both here locally, as well as nationally are supporting efforts to protect and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus here in the United States. Part of those mitigation efforts include assessing advance notice of arrival from vessels,” said Edwards. “We’re assessing to determine whether or not their last five port of calls have been in areas that have been impacted by the virus, as well as requiring vessel operators to report any ill crew members or passengers a minimum of 15 days prior to the arrival in any U.S. port.”
    ...
    https://www.fox8live.com/2020/02/01/...irus-concerns/
    Last edited by Ronan Kelly; March 18, 2020, 03:56 PM.
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    While coronavirus not found in the state, Louisiana health officials meet to plan

    By Emily Woodruff / Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate
    Posted at 7:22 PM
    Updated at 7:22 PM
    NEW ORLEANS --
    ...
    There are some people in Louisiana who traveled from China during the course of this outbreak, said Kanter. They are being monitored and are in contact with the Department of Health.

    “We have zero patients under investigation in Louisiana. We’ve had a lot of clinicians reach out with suspected cases, but none of them met the bar,” said Kanter.

    With so few people coming in from the outbreak’s epicenter, increased travel to and from New Orleans during Carnival is not currently a concern for officials.

    Speakers emphasized that the flu is still a bigger concern and said people should practice good hand hygiene and cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

    “Just to put this outbreak in context, we’re still in the middle of flu season,” said Kanter. “Last year ... there were 1,500 deaths in Louisiana and 15,000 hospitalizations (from the flu). That’s really where people’s focus should be, even though this is frightening.”
    ...
    https://www.houmatoday.com/news/2020...s-meet-to-plan
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

    Comment


    • #3
      FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2020

      In the event of an emergency ...

      By BOB JOHANNESSEN | Bureau of Community Preparedness Communications Consultant, LDH Office of Public Health

      As COVID-19, a relatively new coronavirus, spreads throughout China, it has the attention of world, U.S. and local health officials, as well as around-the-clock news coverage. We recently sat down with Dr. Frank Welch, medical director for emergency preparedness at the Louisiana Department of Health, who directs and coordinates all aspects of infectious disease planning and response activities for Louisiana.

      We asked Dr. Welch about the planning and response to COVID-19 at a time when Dr. Welch’s team was also responding to five concurrent outbreaks of infectious diseases: seasonal flu, hepatitis A, mumps, norovirus and chicken pox.

      Is it unusual to have so many outbreaks under investigation at the same time?

      Dr. Frank Welch
      It’s not unusual to have outbreaks and there is no relation between the ones Louisiana is experiencing. The fact they are all occurring at once is coincidental. Interestingly, though, several of the outbreaks we are seeing today have unique features.

      Hepatitis A, for example, is a disease that that we usually only see a few cases of a year, typically confined to specific people or to food. It is uncommon that we have been seeing so many cases for more than a year, reaching epidemic proportions in a very specific population. For context, over the past 10 years, an average of nine cases are reported each year. Today’s ongoing outbreak is almost 800 cases.

      With mumps, the vaccine is about 90% effective, so we typically see only a case or two a year. In the past, outbreaks have been rare, but today, we are regularly seeing mumps outbreaks on college campuses.

      Norovirus behaves like other new and unique outbreaks like SARS and N1H1 (swine flu). For these outbreaks, anytime there are a lot of people in close spaces, and someone is sick, an infectious disease can spread pretty quickly.

      From a preparedness standpoint, can the Department devote, or have enough resources to adequately address all of these outbreaks at one time?

      Yes, and no.

      Yes, we have been preparing for about 20 years to be ready to respond to many hazards and emergencies, not just for infectious diseases. Over this time, we have built a strong emergency response infrastructure. This means that when it comes to a new disease such as COVID-19, we are not starting from scratch. Instead, we only have to build upon the existing structure for the new, specific issue.

      No, because building upon the existing structure can sometimes be challenging because it requires human resources and additional funding. There is a limit to what we can do ourselves, but the federal government has always been there to assist. In the past, the feds have recognized there is additional work and added costs, and they have provided us and other states more money for the response.

      How do you prioritize resources?

      Within the Office of Public Health, we have a continuity of operations plan that lets us identify essential, critical operations that we need to do, and the responsibilities that we can put off or place to the side for a while. For this planning, we follow the federal guidelines for continuity of operations. This is important to our ability to respond to an emergency, recover afterwards and then catch up when the crisis is over.

      Of the recent outbreaks, which one should we be most worried about? And, why?

      We should be most worried about the flu. This really is the severe, contagious illness that needs to be taken seriously. Millions of people get the flu every year — about 20% of the population.

      According to the CDC, the flu has already caused more than 2,000 deaths this season, and Louisiana has seen heightened flu activity every week since flu season started last fall. But, the flu is vaccine-preventable, vaccine-mutable. From my perspective, we need to focus on the diseases that are most serious, while still having the ability to respond to other concerns like COVID-19.

      How dangerous is COVID-19 compared to the flu or to other viruses?

      We aren’t yet sure how quickly COVID-19 can spread. However, it appears that for every person who becomes infected, they can spread it to three other people. For comparison, every person who gets norovirus can spread it to 9 to 10 other people. By this measure, norovirus spreads three times as much as COVID-19.

      My prediction for COVID-19 is that it will mutate itself out, or fail to adapt to new environments, like SARS, an earlier coronavirus. Or, it might eventually slowly spread throughout the global populations. The strategy of health officials is to slow the time it takes for the virus to enter the U.S., allowing time for effective treatments and vaccines — in other words, allowing time for more tools to be developed to fight it.

      As an example, H1N1 started in the U.S., migrated globally, but is now part of the common flu.

      How worried should the general public be about COVID-19?

      If and when the virus gets to the U.S., the best strategy to keep from getting sick are the same strategies to prevent getting the flu: wash your hands frequently and keep your distance from others.

      Given how rapidly norovirus recently spread through Southwest Louisiana, can we expect the same from COVID-19?

      This depends on several things. First, the ability of the virus to spread. Remember, it appears that one-person sick with COVID-19 can spread it to three other people.

      The second thing is the sick person must be in close proximity to someone else.

      In China, the city of Wuhan is small in area but has 11 million people. There are a lot of people living and working very close to one another. This has allowed the virus to spread rapidly. You should also remember that it started during the Chinese New Year when there were large crowds of people. This is probably why it spread so quickly.

      It is different in Louisiana where we are not nearly so crowded. We have lots of wide open spaces, and to find a crowd of people, you have to actively seek out the crowd. This makes it unlikely that we’d see the same rate of transmission in Louisiana as we’re seeing in Wuhan.

      If you could advise the general public to do only one thing to protect themselves, what would that be?

      As I said earlier, you need to keep your hands clean and keep your distance from others. Infectious diseases such as the flu, norovirus and COVID-19 all spread person to person. So, the best things to do are to stay away from sick people, cover your mouth, wash your hands and stay home if you are sick. This is the best prevention for any infectious disease. You should also call your doctor if you are sick and follow your doctor’s advice.

      Why do some people seem to worry about COVID-19 more than they worry about the flu?

      Anything that is new and different captures media attention, as well as the attention of the CDC and the world health organizations. All of this attention elevates the idea that this is something new and different and more dangerous.

      In fact, a recent article in the New York Times said this illustrates an unconscious bias in how humans think about risk … we are conditioned to focus heavily on new threats, looking for any cause for alarm. We might obsess over the scariest reports and worst-case scenarios, making the danger seem bigger than it actually is. Where COVID-19 is new and different, the flu, in comparison, is seen as old and somewhat boring. It doesn’t capture the 24-hour news cycle, and, therefore, it is not as glamorous.

      Anything that is seen as new and different gets an elevated public profile. It might not be all that serious, it’s just different.
      http://ladepthealth.blogspot.com/202...emergency.html





      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
      -Nelson Mandela

      Comment


      • #4
        'There is no heightened danger': New Orleans officials give update on coronavirus

        No confirmed cases in Louisiana

        Morgan Lentes

        NEW ORLEANS —

        The director of the New Orleans Health Department said there is no heightened danger of contracting the coronavirus in the area.

        Dr. Jennifer Avegno spoke to reporters Wednesday to provide an update on the city's efforts to stay ahead of the disease, which has more than 80,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

        "We certainly have a lot of travelers, but so do many, many, many other cities," said Avegno. "At this point, we don’t think there is any increased risk to our general public based on what we’re seeing."
        ...
        https://www.wdsu.com/article/there-i...virus/31123403

        --------------------------------------------------

        Coronavirus Still not Present in Louisiana, but can be Expected

        by Colin CampoFebruary 26, 2020News

        Louisiana still has no cases of Covid-19. Several dozen are currently being monitored, but none are from the hot zone of the pandemic.

        The Louisiana Office of Public Health, along with the rest of the U.S. has shifted its strategy towards Covid-19, according to Dr. Frank Welch, Medical Director for the Bureau for Community Preparedness for the Office of Public Health, Wednesday, February 26. Because of Covid-19’s similarities to influenza, said Welch, Louisiana has measures already in place.

        It used to be that only those returning from Hubei Province would be monitored by officials. This was because Wuhan City, the epicenter of the illness, is located within Hubei. Now, the Office of Public Health has expanded its monitoring process.

        “We have had people under monitoring for the past couple of weeks because they have returned from China, none have returned from Hubei Province,” Welch said.
        ...
        https://www.houmatimes.com/news/coro...n-be-expected/

        ---------------------------------------------------------------------

        Doctors say this is not the time to panic over coronavirus

        For fact not fear, we turned to two experts at Tulane

        Author: Meg Farris (WWL)
        Published: 6:40 PM CST February 26, 2020
        Updated: 6:40 PM CST February 26, 2020

        NEW ORLEANS — There are 59 cases of the new coronavirus in the U.S. None of them are in Louisiana.

        Right now we know that a team of Tulane scientists is working on tests and vaccines for the new coronavirus. They just got delivery of the first samples at the Primate Center on the north shore.

        And they tell us the NIH is testing a specific anti-viral medication that treated the Ebola outbreak to see if it works on coronavirus. Antibiotics do not work on this or any viruses
        ...
        https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/l...1-5f1535c9e910
        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela

        Comment


        • #5
          Live Coronavirus samples now at Tulane's Primate Center on Northshore for research

          They'll first develop an animal model of the disease and infect nonhuman primates to answer the many unknowns.

          Author: Erika Ferrando (WWL)
          Published: 6:31 PM CST February 27, 2020
          Updated: 5:30 AM CST February 28, 2020

          COVINGTON, La. —
          ...
          "The level of containment that we're working with this is actually higher than required," he said.

          The researchers say there is no public threat.
          ...
          https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/h...3-dca5f65e8244

          ---------------------------------------------------------------------

          La. health department monitoring locals who traveled abroad amid virus scare

          February 28, 2020 3:54 PM in Top StorySource: WBRZ TVBy: Trey Schmaltz

          BATON ROUGE -
          ...
          There are no cases of the virus in Louisiana.

          Health officials, though, said they are in contact with travelers from Louisiana who were abroad amid the virus' spread. Those people are being spoken with daily and report things like temperature or any illness-like feelings. In an interview with WBRZ Friday, the state would not elaborate on the number of people being monitored and said there were no required quarantines.
          ...
          A group of high school girls visiting Italy returned to Louisiana this week after people in parts of Italy fell ill with the virus. Friday, St. Joseph's Academy where the girls attend, shared a letter with parents on the situation. The school said the student group did not go near any areas in Italy affected by the virus. They will return to school as planned next week.
          ...
          https://www.wbrz.com/news/la-health-...id-virus-scare
          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
          -Nelson Mandela

          Comment


          • #6
            No coronavirus in New Orleans or Louisiana

            DAVE COHEN, WWL FIRST NEWS EARLY EDITION
            MARCH 01, 2020 - 9:33 PM
            ...
            "There have been no diagnosed coronavirus cases in the Louisiana or the city of New Orleans," Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Director of the New Orleans Health Department told reporters.

            She says that they are preparing for that possibility.
            ...
            https://wwl.radio.com/articles/no-co...s-or-louisiana
            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
            -Nelson Mandela

            Comment


            • #7
              Gov. Edwards announces Coronavirus task force; no cases in Louisiana

              (Source: KLTV)
              March 2, 2020 at 10:17 AM CST - Updated March 2 at 10:23 AM

              BATON ROUGE, La. (WVUE) -Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Monday the creation of a COVID-19 Task Force of key state and federal officials. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Louisiana.

              The Governor also announced that the Louisiana Office of Public Health’s State Laboratory is now able to test for the virus in state, using the testing guidelines provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

              ...
              https://www.fox8live.com/2020/03/02/...us-task-force/
              "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
              -Nelson Mandela

              Comment


              • #8
                Three John Ehret High School teachers staying home after travel to coronavirus-plagued areas

                BY FAIMON A. ROBERTS III | STAFF WRITER MAR 3, 2020 - 3:34 PM

                Three John Ehret High School teachers have been asked to stay at home for two weeks after traveling to countries on the Centers for Diease Control's list of at-risk countries for coronavirus, a Jefferson Parish schools spokesman said.
                ...
                Two of the employees did report to work Monday at the Marrero school before being asked to stay at home. The third was still traveling. One of the three simply had a layover in a country that is on the CDC's risk assessed list, the letter says.
                ...
                https://www.nola.com/news/education/...1e3f1b387.html
                "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                -Nelson Mandela

                Comment


                • #9
                  ASPS cancels Spring Meeting amid COVID-19 concerns
                  • Tuesday, March 3, 2020
                  Amid ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus), ASPS announced Tuesday that it has canceled its Spring Meeting and Coding Workshop slated for March 12-14 in New Orleans. In doing so, the Society joins a growing list of organizations and academic institutions canceling events and instituting travel restrictions related to the coronavirus.

                  The ASPS Executive Committee reviewed the current statistics on COVID-19, the escalation in the number of people affected – and the effect that even one exposure to the virus could have on our members, staff and other attendees (some institutions are even imposing a two-week quarantine for returning travelers). Ultimately, the Executive Committee unanimously agreed that the potential for increasing the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 made the cancellation of the meeting the most responsible course of action.

                  "We were looking forward to another exciting meeting and seeing our colleagues from across the country and the world – but if just one person were to contract COVID-19 during travel to or participation in an ASPS meeting, it would be devastating and not worth the risk," says ASPS President Lynn Jeffers, MD, MBA. "As physicians, it's important that we limit potential exposure to the coronavirus until it is under control. Ensuring the health and safety of our members, patients, staff and others is always our top priority."

                  More than 500 attendees were expected to attend the Spring Meeting and Coding Workshop. All registrants will receive a refund of registration fees and reimbursement for any cancellation fees associated with travel, provided flights and hotels are canceled by March 10 and submitted to ASPS within 14 days. Any registrants who require instructions for submitting documents for reimbursement are encouraged to contact the ASPS Member Services Center at meetingrefundrequest@plasticsurgery.org or (847) 228-9900.

                  The Executive Committee, ASPS/PSF Board of Directors and committee meetings scheduled to take place in New Orleans will be held via video conference during the times and dates originally planned. ASPS staff will contact committee members with specific dial-in instructions to join remotely.

                  "We all look forward to the resolution of the current level of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19," adds Dr. Jeffers. "And hope that we will be able to see everyone at Plastic Surgery the Meeting in San Francisco in October."

                  https://www.plasticsurgery.org/for-m...=SpringMeeting
                  "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                  -Nelson Mandela

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Crescent City Classic watching coronavirus and promising safe event

                    Posted: Mar 5, 2020 / 11:30 AM CST / Updated: Mar 5, 2020 / 11:37 AM CST

                    NEW ORLEANS — Organizers of this year’s Crescent City Classic say they are in touch with the New Orleans Health Department and the CDC to monitor any developments or directives regarding the coronavirus. The race is April 11 and will take as many as 30,000 runners and walkers from around the world on the 10k race through the streets of the city.

                    “So from now to the event, there’s nothing to indicate we will be canceling or postponing our event,” Tim Levy told reporters during a news conference on Thursday.
                    ...
                    https://wgno.com/news/crescent-city-...ng-safe-event/

                    --------------------------------------

                    Gov. John Bel Edwards: Louisianans being monitored for coronavirus not showing symptoms

                    Ashley White and Leigh Guidry, Lafayette Daily AdvertiserPublished 12:59 p.m. CT March 5, 2020

                    The Louisianans under observation for the novel coronavirus aren't showing symptoms and may soon be cleared, but the state still is expecting to see the virus surface here as testing becomes more widely available, officials said Thursday.

                    A group of students and teachers from St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge returned Feb. 27 from a trip to Italy and remain at home under observation for a 14-day period to ensure they did not contract the virus, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday.
                    ...
                    Edwards, who was in Lafayette Thursday, said a confirmed case has not been reported in Louisiana, but one is expected as other states are identifying cases.
                    ...
                    Coronavirus testing kits were shipped to state health officials over the weekend, said Tina Stefanski, director of Louisiana’s Region 4 Office of Public Health. The CDC also has relaxed its strict testing guidelines and anyone can be tested, under a doctor's order.

                    "As we start to test more individuals," she said, "it is likely that we will see people in Louisiana with this particular virus."
                    ...
                    https://www.theadvertiser.com/story/...ms/4963540002/
                    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                    -Nelson Mandela

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      'Highly possible' coronavirus already in New Orleans as city finalizes response plan

                      BY JESSICA WILLIAMS | STAFF WRITER PUBLISHED MAR 5, 2020 AT 3:57 PM | UPDATED MAR 5, 2020 AT 7:56 PM
                      ...
                      Council members questioned Avegno about hand-sanitizing stations in public buildings, how rapidly COVID-19 can spread and other matters in a conversation meant both to discourage public panic and to help residents recognize that the virus is likely to reach a tourist center like New Orleans in time.

                      In fact, given the recent Carnival season and the sharing of "beads, shoes, doubloons and everything else, it’s highly possible that this virus is already in the city of New Orleans, and we need to plan accordingly," Councilman Jason Williams said.
                      ...
                      https://www.nola.com/news/politics/a...ign=user-share
                      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                      -Nelson Mandela

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Louisiana Department of Health has tested around 5 samples for Coronavirus, all negative

                        By Kimberly Curth | March 5, 2020 at 10:02 PM CST - Updated March 6 at 7:45 AM

                        NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -The Louisiana Department of Health says so far it has tested around 5 samples for Coronavirus and they were all negative.

                        While there have been no confirmed cases in Louisiana, the state says it’s likely there will be.

                        “Certainly a number of states have and we are preparing as if it’s a matter of when not if,” Joseph Kanter, M.D. with the Louisiana Department of Health said.
                        ...

                        https://www.fox8live.com/2020/03/06/...-all-negative/
                        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                        -Nelson Mandela

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          8 tested in La. for coronavirus are negative, health officials say

                          By Kevin Foster | March 7, 2020 at 3:34 PM CST - Updated March 7 at 3:34 PM

                          (WAFB) - Eight people tested by state health officials for COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, have all tested negative, officials said.

                          As of Saturday, March 7, the state has not confirmed a positive or presumptive positive case of the virus.
                          ...
                          https://www.wafb.com/2020/03/07/test...officials-say/
                          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                          -Nelson Mandela

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As of Sunday night, Louisiana is one of 16 states without a confirmed coronavirus case

                            STAFF REPORT MAR 8, 2020 - 10:53 PM
                            ...
                            There are no confirmed or presumptive positive tests in the state in the week since gaining the capacity to test for the virus.
                            ...
                            https://www.nola.com/news/coronaviru...5ccc0111f.html
                            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                            -Nelson Mandela

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Louisiana Department of Health

                              @LADeptHealth

                              2h
                              As of today, the Louisiana Department of Health has completed 11 #COVID19 tests in Louisiana, all of which have been negative. There are no confirmed or presumptive positive cases in Louisiana.
                              Image
                              "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                              -Nelson Mandela

                              Comment

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