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State's first two virus deaths were middle-aged people with underlying health issues

1 year 8 months 2 weeks ago Saturday, March 14 2020 Mar 14, 2020 March 14, 2020 4:12 PM March 14, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ Staff

BATON ROUGE - The first person to die in Louisiana after contracting the coronavirus was a 58-year-old man hospitalized in New Orleans, the Louisiana Department of Health revealed Saturday afternoon.

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The patient had "underlying health conditions," the state said in a news release.

The man was being treated at Touro Infirmary Hospital and Medical Center. 

"It is with heavy hearts that we announce the first Louisiana death related to COVID-19 today,” the governor said in a statement.  “I have spoken with Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and we send our prayers and condolences to the family of the deceased."

Sunday morning, the state revealed a second person had also died at Touro Infirmary.  The 53-year-old also had underlying medical conditions.

The governor released a second statement on the death Sunday morning: "We ask the state to join us in sending prayers to the family members and friends who are going through this difficult time. As the number of positive cases continues to rise, we need every person to take the necessary actions to help reduce the spread of this virus. It is an extremely serious situation that demands all of our attention. Our elderly and those with chronic health conditions are the most vulnerable, but we all need to act responsibly and look out for ourselves and our neighbors.”

He added the importance of checking on and keeping those with chronic health issues out of large crowds and other public areas where the virus may be spread: "This underscores the fact that those with underlying health issues are most at risk from the coronavirus. Those with compromised immune systems and are older should be taking extra precautions to avoid becoming affected with the coronavirus," the governor said in the statement. 

Take these precautions:

  • Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and frequently
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with your arm
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Avoiding close contact with others
  • And staying home if you are sick

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