The Louisiana Department of Health reports that more than 10,000 Louisianans have died from COVID-19 as of Monday's update.
LDH says that in 2017, the most recent year for which there is data, only heart disease took the lives of more people in Louisiana.
In their Monday, March 22, update, LDH was reporting that 10,030 people had died from the virus. This number includes more than 9,000 "confirmed" COVID-19 deaths and several hundred deaths described as "probable."
The number of total coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana increased by 1,334 on Monday to 441,066. There were 42 new deaths reported.
Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement:
“Today is a grim milestone for our state as more than 10,000 Louisianans have now died from COVID-19, marking a year of sadness and loss, as so many families and friends are missing their loved ones. We must pray for them and their families and do everything we can to prevent the spread of this terrible illness,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “While the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, in the midst of darkness, there is hope – more than one million people in Louisiana have now started the vaccination process. We are blessed that our scientists and doctors have produced three highly effective and safe vaccines against this illness, and now more than ever, we are called to continue to protect each other and to save lives through wearing masks, keeping distance and getting the vaccine when it is our turn. These vaccines are not just about to getting back to a more normal life and ending the pandemic, they’re also a critical tool in ensuring fewer people die from this illness.”
Dr. Courtney Phillips, secretary of the Louisiana Deaprtment of Health says that a loss of life this large tragic and stunning.
"10,000 lives lost in one year," said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips. "For context, that means we have lost more residents to COVID-19 than accidents, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke and Alzheimer's combined which were the third, fourth, fifth and sixth leading causes of death in 2017. It would've been the second leading cause of death that year, behind only heart disease. Said another way, we've lost more residents to COVID than the population sizes of 85% of Louisiana's towns, cities and villages."
"We grieve with the many families who have lost loved ones - and we are driven and determined to end this pandemic," she said.
"The COVID vaccines are our exit ramp from this pandemic and I could not be more encouraged by the tremendous work already undertaken," said Dr. Joseph Kanter, State Health Officer. "I am looking forward to even more Louisianans having the opportunity to get vaccinated in the near future."
In addition to the 1,055,991 people who have already taken the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana, the governor's office says hundreds of thousands of additional Louisianans are eligible to get one of the three approved vaccines, including additional groups of essential workers who became eligible today.
An update on the daily case and death count was delayed on Monday due to "technical difficulties." LDH says they will update the numbers as soon as possible.
Those numbers can be found on the LDH coronavirus website at ldh.la.gov/coronavirus.
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