The number of cases worldwide is still climbing. According to health officials, there have been 2,719,522 confirmed cases of COVID-19. More than 191,228 people have died.
Please go to http://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus/ for official information on Positive Test Results and locations. It is updated 12 noon daily. LDH officials’ latest report: As of last report all Parishes have reported (64 of 64) cases with state totaling 25,739 cases of COVID-19 and 1,540 deaths across the state.
1,727 Reported COVID-19 Patients in Hospitals; 274 of those on ventilators
6,779 Tests Completed by State Lab; 135,079 Commercial Tests Completed (number reported has not changed this week)
SEE ATTACHED SPREADSHEET FOR LATEST PARISH INFO UPDATE WILL BE AT NOON TODAY
In the U.S., President Trump says the administration's social distancing guidelines "may" extend into summer, or perhaps beyond that, as states shift gears and plan the reopening of their economies. But there is potentially good news for summer — research shows the virus' lifespan is shortened by sunlight, heat and humidity, one administration expert said during Thursday's Coronavirus Task Force briefing. While House lawmakers on Thursday voted to approve a $484 billion coronavirus relief package as new unemployment figures highlight the staggering toll the pandemic has taken on the U.S. job market. President Trump is now expected to sign the legislation, which lawmakers approved by a vote of 388-5. The legislation, known as the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, is the result of weeks of negotiations between congressional Democrats and the White House. The measure includes $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion to establish a national testing regime, $60 billion in disaster aid and $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans to small businesses to help them retain workers and meet payroll. The PPP exhausted its initial $349 billion in funding last week. The U.S. has 869,172 confirmed cases with nearly 50,000 deaths.
More than 5,000 U.S. meat and food-processing workers have been infected with or exposed to coronavirus, and 13 have died, the country's largest meatpacking union said on Thursday.
A top infectious disease expert said Thursday that he was doubtful of the country's current testing capability, which is a key resource as several states and cities look to partially reopen their economies during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The American Red Cross will begin offering antibody tests for people who suspect they've had COVID-19, and are interested in donating plasma, media reported Thursday.
Previously, people were required to have documentation of a positive case to donate plasma for treatment.
Additionally, older adults who contract the virus may reportedly exhibit unusual behavior such as sleeping more, seeming apathetic or confused, or becoming disoriented.
The U.S. State Department has issued a “Do Not Travel” health advisory. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.
The number of Houston-area coronavirus cases is at 8,253 with 171 deaths, and 2,370 recoveries. Several malls in the Houston area that shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic are offering "retail to-go" options this morning after some restrictions were lifted at midnight. While Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale wants to help Houstonians stay safe from COVID-19 by giving away free masks Friday from 5 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the Gallery Furniture North Freeway store. Mattress Mack said those interested can drive up in their car and Gallery Furniture will distribute the masks. Masks will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additionally, a Houston-area doctor who is also a conservative political activist is suing to block Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s recent order requiring residents over 10 years old to wear face masks in public places for 30 days, with some narrow exceptions.
Colorado health care workers will now be able to reuse N95 masks thanks to a device from FEMA called Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System. The decontamination system will be installed at the Adams County Fairgrounds.
It can sanitize as much as 80,000 N95 masks per day.
There are now 30,096 confirmed cases and 1,191 deaths due to coronavirus in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) region, media reported Thursday. Washington, D.C., has recorded 3,361 cases and 139 deaths; Maryland has recorded 15,737 cases and 680 deaths; Virginia has registered 10,998 cases and 372 deaths.
The governor of Minnesota unveiled the state's new testing strategy on Wednesday that will allow Minnesota to fully track the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, media reported Thursday. Standing with leaders of Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota, and HealthPartners, the governor said that this $36 million agreement will result in a coronavirus testing program allowing for the diagnostic testing of as many as 20,000 samples per day.
A senior state official in Montana released a plan on Wednesday outlining how churches, businesses, and schools can open their doors again over the next three weeks.
A senior New York state official said on Thursday that a screening of 3,000 people found nearly 14 percent tested positive for antibodies for the novel coronavirus, suggesting that 2.7 million residents across the state may have been infected with the disease. In New York City, 21 percent of the people tested had antibodies. Hospitalizations across the state fell by more than 500 patients on Wednesday, the 10th straight day of decline. An additional 438 coronavirus-related deaths were reported over the past 24 hours, down from 474 a day earlier and the lowest total since April 1.
A senior official in Oklahoma announced plans to reopen businesses across the state beginning on Friday, using the three-phase plan issued by the White House as its guide. Oklahoma will begin allowing state parks and "personal care" businesses, such as hair salons, and barbershops, to reopen beginning April 24, and other businesses, including restaurants and movie theaters, can begin reopening on May 1.
The CDC on Thursday issued recommendations to a pork plant in South Dakota where nearly 800 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, media reported. While the CDC memo specifically applies to the Sioux Falls Smithfield Foods plant, the agency is developing guidelines to be applied to meat processing plants around the country.
Wisconsin's National Guard is stepping up its ongoing efforts to support state responses to COVID-19, and over 1,000 of Wisconsin's nearly 10,000 guardsmen and women are now actively involved in a variety of operations meant to augment the state's efforts. An additional 225 troops have also been mobilized to help increase COVID-19 testing; Soldiers and airmen are assisting in self-isolation sites in Milwaukee and Madison.
In the U.K., up to 10 million key workers and their households can now book a coronavirus test online or through their employer. The move allows all essential workers in England to register for tests on the government's website, if they or a family member have virus symptoms. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the expanded testing program was "part of getting Britain back on her feet". The health secretary announced the new testing arrangements at Thursday's Downing Street coronavirus briefing, along with a commitment to recruit 18,000 people to trace contacts of those infected. Those who can now register for a test include NHS and social care workers, police officers, teachers, those in the justice system, supermarket and food production workers, journalists and transport workers. Previously, a smaller group of key workers - those whose work is deemed critical to the Covid-19 response - were eligible for testing. The aim is to allow essential staff to safely return to work. Thursday's figures showed 23,560 tests were carried out, though Mr. Hancock said capacity had now increased to 51,000 per day. The data also showed a further 616 people died with the virus in UK hospitals, bringing the total number of deaths to 18,738 with 139,246 confirmed cases.
In the UAE, on Thursday, April 23, Emirati authorities announced that a nationwide nighttime curfew will be adjusted during the month of Ramadan, which is set to begin on Friday, April 24, and will last until late May, likely between Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24. During this period, a curfew will be in effect from 22:00 to 06:00 (local time). The curfew previously began at 20:00 daily. The measures will also apply to Dubai, which has been under a 24-hour curfew due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. As of Thursday, cafes and restaurants in Dubai have been permitted to resume operations, and shopping malls are now allowed to open from 12:00 to 22:00 with a maximum capacity of 30 percent. Additionally, officials in Dubai announced that public transportation in the emirate will resume as of Sunday, April 26. On Saturday, April 18, UAE authorities announced that individuals who share medical information regarding COVID-19 that contradicts official statements may face a fine of USD 5500. The measure applies to any individual who publishes, republishes, or circulates medical information or guidance deemed to be false, misleading, or contradictory to official advice. Under lockdown regulations, members of the public who go out for walks, cycle, or drive for essential reasons such as purchasing food or medicine must apply for a permit at this website. Only one family member will be permitted to go out at any one time during the ongoing sanitation program, and those leaving their homes are to wear masks, gloves, and respect social distancing advice. Those working in vital sectors will be exempted from the restrictions.
To date, there have been 8756 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and 56 associated deaths.
In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte extended the current enhanced community quarantine measures in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and other high-risk areas until at least Friday, May 15. In a statement released on Thursday, April 23, a presidential spokesperson confirm that the following areas are under the enhanced measures: Pangasinan, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecijia, Pampanga, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Albay, and Catanduanes. Some areas will be reevaluated on Thursday, April 30. The mayor of Cebu City (Cebu province) also announced on Thursday that the ongoing lockdown in the city will be extended until May 15. Under the enhanced community quarantine measures all individuals have been ordered to stay at home, and only one person per household will be allowed to leave and purchase necessities. The restrictions do not apply to employees from essential sectors. The government has advised those aged above 60 and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions not to leave their homes. Individuals who must leave their homes will need to bring along the identification documents as stipulated by authorities, to be presented at the checkpoints. Security forces have been deployed to ensure compliance with the lockdown measures, and authorities have ordered the police and military to open fire at individuals who do not abide by the controls. Supermarkets, public markets, convenience stores, clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies will continue to remain open, while restaurants will be limited to take out and deliveries. In addition, buses, jeepneys, trains, and all mass public transport have been suspended except for the transport of cargo. Many local government units have also announced overnight curfews, most commonly between 20:00 to 05:00 (local time). As a precautionary measure, all foreign nationals have been banned from entering the country since Sunday, March 22. Budget airline AirAsia has canceled all international and domestic flights until Thursday, April 30. Travelers with bookings made before Sunday, March 22, with departure dates before Sunday, May 31, will be able to choose from several options using the airline's online portal. Please see AirAsia's website for more details. As of April 24, 7192 cases of COVID-19 and 477 associated fatalities have been confirmed in the country.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reflected on the very different kind of Anzac Day that millions of Australians are preparing to mark. The day of reflection of thanks for veterans is particularly poignant this year, against the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis. There was good news today, with Mr. Morrison saying the country is in the “third phase” of the coronavirus outbreak, although that comes with its own set of challenges. “We are now in that third phase which we have to protect against. That’s the ‘community phase’, where the virus actually moves within our own community,” Mr. Morrison said during his press conference. “That requires particularly different tools, building on the ones that we already have in place. And that is the testing, that is the tracing, and that is the rapid response. “We now have to be wary against community transmission, and so we are dealing with that third wave of the virus.” There are 6675 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia, with 2982 in New South Wales, 1343 in Victoria, 1026 in Queensland, 438 in South Australia, 548 in Western Australia, 205 in Tasmania, 105 in the Australian Capital Territory and 28 in the Northern Territory. Seventy-nine people have died from the disease. Lastly, schools in NSW go back next week under a model that has students in classrooms for a day a week, starting in week two. Craig Petersen, the acting president of the New South Wales Secondary Principals’ Council explained that last night the NSW chief medical officer Dr Kerry Chant gave a briefing and “it’s quite clear that the transmission rate between children is absolutely negligible.”
BUREN R. (Ric) MOORE, SGM (R)
GOHSEP Intelligence Officer
Louisiana State Analytical & Fusion Exchange (LA-SAFE) Liaison
7667 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
In the case of terrorism, to wait for an indication of crime before investigating it is to wait too long. There is no guarantee of success, but there has to be a guarantee of effort. Let's make it hard to hurt us. If you see something suspicious, report it.