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Coronavirus: Another day, another increase

Thursday, April 2, 2020
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Confirmed coronavirus cases in Lincoln Parish have now grown to 13, according to statistics released at noon Wednesday by the Louisiana Department of Health.

The new number marks the fifth consecutive day local cases have increased.

Officials continue to say they aren’t surprised that the tally continues to go up, and attribute the increases to more tests being done and results of previously administered tests now coming in.

As of Monday, 156 tests had been administered in the parish; by Wednesday, the number was up to 175, according to the LDH website.

“If you have been tested, you need to treat yourself as if it’s going to be positive. That means stay home,” said Kip Franklin, parish director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

While the publicly released LDH reports do not give demographic information about local patients, the more detailed reports sent to OEP directors, like Franklin, do. But, as the pandemic worsens across Louisiana, those report are lagging further and further behind, Franklin said.

Plus the information in the reports appears to be not yet caught up with test results, he said.

The last official detailed report Franklin received was Tuesday. At the time, LDH reported 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lincoln Parish.

But the detailed report listed only eight. Of those, two are men and six are women. Ages range from a 21-year-old woman to an 81-year-old woman. Cases are in Choudrant, Simsboro and Ruston.

A spokesperson for Northern Louisiana Medical Center would not confirm whether any of the patients were or are hospitalized.

When asked about ventilator capability for COVID-19 patients needing that level of care, NLMC released the following statement:

“Our hospital is preparing to respond to the potential surge in patients and we are reviewing our inventory and protocols regularly as CDC guidance is revised. We’re working in concert with the health department and they have the best picture of what resources are available in our community and region.”

Meantime, COVID-19 cases also continue to climb statewide, but the death rate has slowed — at least for a day. LDH reported 6,424 cases as of Wednesday and a total of 273 deaths.

The death toll was down from 54 deaths reported on March 31 to 34 reported Wednesday. That doesn’t mean the deaths occurred on those days, only that the day’s report included that many people whose death is attributable to COVID-19.

The deaths could have occurred several days ago, but just recently been verified as COVID-19 victims.