Thursday a.m. : 65 deaths statewide, 1 in parish

Update: Thursday a.m.  1795 Louisiana cases, 65 Louisiana deaths, 4 Washington Parish cases, 1 Washington Parish death.

UPDATE: As of Tuesday at Noon, there were 46 deaths statewide and a total of 1,388 cases statewide. Cases have now been reported in 43 of Louisiana's 64 parishes. One death has been reported for Washington Parish.

Of Louisiana's 46 deaths as of Noon Tuesday, all but one were over 40 years old, and 50% were over 70 years old. In addition, 56% of Louisiana's 46 deaths have occurred in Orleans Parish.

Officials continue to remind all citizens of Louisiana, and especially seniors, to practice social distancing, which has been termed the single most effective method of avoiding Coronavirus.  In addition, frequent hand washing and not touching the face are also cited as helpful in preventing the disease.

UPDATE: As of Monday at noon, there were 34 deaths statewide. Sadly, one of these deaths was a Washington Parish resident. As testing increases statewide, officials expect the total number of cases to increase.

UPDATE: As of Sunday, there were 2 cases for Washington Parish; 837 cases statewide; and 20 deaths statewide. Coronavirus has been reported in 36 of Louisiana's 64 parishes.

The Louisiana Department of Health reported Thursday morning that 2 Washington Parish residents have Coronavirus. Officials point out that symptoms can range from minor to critical.

On a statewide basis, with testing ramping up health officials are predicting that the number of cases will quickly grow. Meanwhile, health officials continue to urge Louisianans to stay away from other people as much as possible. Coronavirus is highly contagious and even people who have not been confirmed as having the disease could still be carriers of it, because symptoms do not occur immediately. Staying away from other people remains the best defense, along with frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and cleaning surfaces with disinfectant.

By order of the governor, schools across the state are closed until April 13.* Restaurants can open only for take-out or delivery --- no dining in. Casinos and bars statewide are closed, and other restrictions are also in place.

*Washington Parish public schools are closed until April 20 because a week of spring break is being added at the end of the Coronavirus closure.

Washington Parish President Richard N. Thomas issued the following official statement today (Thursday):

As of 930 A.M. on Thursday, March 19, 2020, the Louisiana Department of Health is reporting 347 cases of COVID19 in Louisiana, of which two cases were identified as being Washington Parish residents. There have been 8 confirmed deaths and a total of 805 test completed. As your Parish President, I urge all citizens of Washington Parish to heed the guidelines given by the Center for Disease Control, The Louisiana Department of Health and the executive orders issued by Governor John Bel Edwards, especially social distancing. I am adjusting my workforce and encouraging sick employees to stay home and working with those employees that don’t have proper childcare due to school closures. Additionally, I am limiting access to the general public in order to protect my employees and limiting face to face contact within parish government. Please continue to wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, cover your cough, stay away from sick people and more importantly stay home if you are sick. I cannot stress enough how important it is for everyone to take actions to reduce the risk of getting sick, by practicing social distancing and unnecessary travel.