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The COVID-19 update for Wedensday, April 8, 2020, shows total number of confirmed cases across Louisiana as 17,030 in 63 parishes.

The number of deaths has increased to 652.

Locally that means

65 cases reported in Allen Parish with 5 deaths,

23 in Beauregard Parish with 1 death,

191 in Calcasieu Parish with 4 deaths,

25 in Natchitoches Parish,

135 in Rapides Parish with 4 deaths,

7 in Sabine Parish and

11 in Vernon Parish.

In both state and commercial laboratories 81400 tests have been run.

There are 1983 hospitalized across the state with 490 on ventilators.

On the other side of the Sabine River, Newton County has 1 positive case reports, Jasper County has 2 cases, Orange County has 29 and Jefferson County has 78 with 4 deaths.

Governor Edwards pointed out disturbing statistic that 33% of our state is African American, but 70% of the deaths caused by COVID-19 are African Americans. That is an unacceptable statistic and we need to find the cause. The slower growth in hospitalizations shows a trajectory on a downward trend backed up by the lower numbers of patients on ventilators. To keep heading that direction we must continue to stay at home, to practice social distancing, handwashing, and wearing masks when we are in places were distancing is difficult or impossible. Gov. Edwards did make the anecdotal remark that he's been told there are more people out and about than there were yesterday.

Louisiana's 36 Health Centers will receive $27 million through the passing of the CARES Act.

45 ventilators have been shipped to Shreveport as they are being seen as one of the hot sports in the state. There will be testing centers opening this week at Walmart in Shreveport for first responders, medical personnel and anyone over 60 with another testing center to follow by next weekend in St. John the Baptist Parish.

The Carnival Cruise ship Valor is docking in New Orleans. 300 crew members who have tested negative to COVID-19 will be allowed to leave the ship and will be escorted to the airport and returned to their homes. Those that did test positive will remain on the ship and will be treated as needed in New Orleans.

Funding also came in with the CARES act for unemployment additions of $ 600/week until July 31. If you are unemployed enroll with Louisiana Workforce and be sure to recertify weekly

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In other COVID-19 news, FCI Oakdale I reports 34 inmates have been infected and 15staff members have been infected . FCI Oakdale II reports 21 inmate has tested positive and zero staff. Overall there are 272 federal inmates and 105 Board of Prisons staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. 8 federal inmate deaths have been reported with 5 of them being at Oakdale I. The last inmate death at Oakdale was April 2, 2020.

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