The Louisiana Department of Health reported 503 more coronavirus cases and 10 more deaths in its noon update Wednesday.
The number of hospitalizations increased by 13, and the number of patients in need of ventilators decreased by 11.
These are another few key statewide statistics as of Wednesday:
— Total cases: 181,443
— Total deaths: 5,676
— Currently hospitalized: 613
— Currently on ventilators: 80
— Presumed recovered: 168,634 as of Oct. 26 (updated weekly)
— Probable cases: 4,379 as of Oct. 28 (updated weekly)
Note: The Advocate and The Times-Picayune staff calculates daily case count increases based on the difference between today’s total and yesterday’s total of confirmed coronavirus cases. The Louisiana Department of Health releases a daily case count on Twitter based on the deletion of duplicate cases. That case count can be different than the one listed here.
You can view more graphs and charts breaking down the data by clicking here.
Louisiana began reopening for Phase 1 on May 15-16 then moved to Phase 2 on June 5. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards extended Louisiana’s Phase 2 restrictions twice in August before moving the state to Phase 3 on Sept. 11.
This is a developing story. More details and analysis to come.
Experts believe excess deaths is a more comprehensive measure of the total impact of the outbreak, capturing Covid-19 deaths that may not have been correctly diagnosed, or those who died from other causes that could be attributed to the crisis. According to the CDC report, groups with the biggest jump in excess deaths, percentage-wise, have been adults aged 25 to 44, and Hispanic people, Jason Hanna and Christina Maxouris report.
This comes as US President Donald Trump continues to downplay the pandemic on the campaign trail despite officials warning of a fast-worsening situation. Hospitalizations are rising and the country topped 60,000 new infections yesterday — triple what the daily average was back in June, when restrictions had begun to ease. “It’s going to be a difficult fall and winter,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the FDA, told CNBC on Monday. “I think we’re about two or three weeks behind Europe — so we’re about a week away from starting to enter a period where we’re going to see a rapid acceleration in cases.”l
The bleak outlook will also take a toll on the mental health of the nation. Americans need to be mindful of this as the next few months could be “one of the darkest chapters in modern American history,” Peter Hotez, Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN. “We could be looking at a doubling of the number of deaths by the week after the inauguration. This is tough stuff,” he said. “Get ready for it, but just remember it will get better.”
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q. How is the pandemic affecting sleep?
A: The pandemic is affecting sleep in a number of ways.
A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 36% of Americans reported difficulty sleeping this summer due to stress about the pandemic. Sleep specialist Matthew Walker told CNN that economic instability and anxiety about catching the virus has significantly contributed to an increase in sleep disruption.
But it’s not all bad news. Some people’s sleep has actually slightly increased, Walker said. Initial results from a survey conducted by Australia’s Monash University found that 42% of people said they were getting better sleep, reporting sleep-wake behavior more in line with their body clocks. These findings will be published later this year.
Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Covid-19 has created a ‘shadow pandemic’ for domestic abuse victims
The Covid-19 pandemic is causing another crisis: an explosion of domestic abuse on a global scale. As more people have to stay home, many victims are locked in with their abusers, and some domestic abuse support services have been put on hold.
France saw a 42% year-on-year jump in the number of domestic violence interventions during lockdown. In Venezuela, there was a 65% increase in femicides for the month of April compared to the same month
BEL AIR, MD — The Harford County Health Department is hosting a drive-thru mask event for Harford County businesses Wednesday, Oct. 21.
Businesses will be able to visit 120 South Hays Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday to pick up their masks.
Register to specify the number of masks and to reduce the wait time.
The free event is held in partnership with the Maryland Department of Health as part of its campaign to promote mask usage.
“Wearing a mask can help slow the spread of COVID-19, and we welcome any business who is in need of masks for their staff or guests to drive-thru on Wednesday,” Acting Harford County Health Officer Marcy Austin said in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to distribute masks for our local community, without charge, to continue with safety precautions against COVID-19.”
There are 3,430 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Harford County as of Tuesday, Oct.20, according to state health officials.
The timing of Wednesday’s drive-thru mask giveaway was intentional, local health experts said, as the flu season typically begins in October.
“Especially with the upcoming flu season, your actions can define the health of our community,” Harford County Health Department Emergency Coordinator Lisa Swank, R.N., said in statement.
“The Harford County Health Department is encouraging all residents to continue to wear masks and social distance, especially during flu season,” Swank said. “This is why we are providing Harford County businesses with free masks to distribute to their patrons and employees during this time of year.”
The most recent flu surveillance report from the Maryland Department of Health shows no positive test results for influenza so far, although there was one influenza-related hospitalization for the week ending Oct. 3, officials said.
In early October, Gov. Larry Hogan said Maryland was shifting its coronavirus strategy as flu season arrives, bracing for a potential hospital surge and ramping up its flu testing capacity.
Both coronavirus and influenza are contagious illnesses that can be spread through respiratory droplets.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face coverings in public, maintaining 6 feet of distance and frequently washing hands to prevent the spread of illness.
People in Maryland are required to wear face coverings inside most businesses if they are older than 2. Among the exceptions are those who have medical conditions that preclude mask wearing and patrons who are eating and drinking.
The Harford County Health Department at 120 South Hays Street is hosting its drive-thru mask event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21.
This article originally appeared on the Bel Air Patch