St. John reports 415 cases of COVID-19; Drive-thru testing now available

Published 12:18 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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LAPLACE — As of the Tuesday update from the Louisiana Department of Health, there have been 415 reported cases of COVID-19 and 34 deaths in St. John the Baptist Parish.

On Monday, there were 366 recorded cases and 24 deaths in St. John Parish.

As of Monday at noon, St. Charles Parish has 310 reported cases and 19 deaths, while St. James has 176 reported cases and six deaths.

Statewide, there are 16,284 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across 63 parishes. This marks an increase of 1,417 cases since yesterday’s report.

One Louisiana parish has not reported cases, though Governor John Bel Edwards said he is certain the virus has spread in all 64 parishes. There have been 582 deaths, up 70 from Monday. The first death in the state was reported on March 14.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, there are 1,996 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the state. Of these patients, 519 are on ventilators.

This data is updated daily at noon.

Edwards has extended his Stay At Home order for Louisiana residents through April 30. To read the full order, visit

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing is now offered three days a week in St. John the Baptist Parish Tuesday through Thursday.

Drive-thru testing is offered to St. John the Baptist Parish residents who are symptomatic from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., or until the day’s allotted tests have been administered, at the Ochsner Medical Complex – River Parishes at 1900 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace.

Testing is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To receive drive-thru testing, residents must be 18 years or older and experience symptoms associated with COVID-19, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. Patients will need to provide a valid state ID or driver’s license to prove they live in St. John Parish.

Residents should enter the drive-thru testing location through the rear entrance of the Ochsner Medical Complex – River Parishes parking lot, and patients must remain in their vehicles for testing. An Ochsner provider will contact the patient with the results once they become available.

While test kits are limited for drive-thru testing for symptomatic residents, Ochsner will continue to offer testing at Ochsner Medical Complex – River Parishes with a physician’s order from a patient’s primary care provider or in the freestanding emergency department.

St. John residents who have received a physician’s order for COVID-19 testing will have a scheduled appointment at the Ochsner Medical Complex – River Parishes location between 1 and 4 p.m. Patients must provide a driver’s license or an ID to prove residency in St. John Parish.

The testing criteria at Ochsner Medical Complex – River Parishes adheres to guidelines followed by all Ochsner facilities across the state.

The frequency of testing will be evaluated on a week-by-week basis based on community need, according to Parish President Jaclyn Hotard.

COVID-19 testing is offered as a collaboration between St. John the Baptist Parish, Ochsner Medical Complex and the Louisiana Department of Health.

Parish President Hotard said this effort will increase access and convenience of testing in the community.

“The safety and health of our residents are first and foremost, and I believe the addition of a testing site in St. John will help us quantify the local impact of COVID-19, give our residents additional medical assistance in Parish and also supply officials with the information we need to make informed decisions on behalf of our community,” Hotard said.

She added that, up until this point, localized testing has been reserved for individuals with underlying health conditions who are considered most at risk for serious illness from COVID-19.

“I know we have residents in St. John who have coronavirus symptoms without an underlying risk factor, and we need to increase testing for them as well,” Hotard said. “We need to remove those restrictions and allow patients who have symptoms to be tested regardless of whether they have a risk factor. It needs to be identified so those patients can take protective measures and self-quarantine.”

Stephen Robinson, CEO of Ochsner Medical Center for Kenner and the River Region, thanked Htoard, Congressman Garret Graves, Congressman Cedric Richmond and Governor John Bel Edwards for fighting for increased testing in St. John.

“Since this pandemic first began affecting our communities, we have administered more than 100 tests at Ochsner Medical Complex – River Parishes, and we are pleased to offer drive-thru testing to improve access and convenience of testing in this community,” Robinson said.

Patients and caregivers are reminded to follow the steps below should they have symptoms or concerns about COVID-19 before going to an emergency department, clinic or drive-thru testing site:

  • Call the free Ochsner information line at 844-888-2772 for 24/7 advice and COVID-19 information
  • Established Ochsner patients can schedule a video visit with their provider and send secure messages via MyOchsner
  • New patients can see a provider over video through or via the Ochsner Anywhere Care app.