Majority of COVID-19 deaths linked to hypertension: Face coverings now recommended by CDC

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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LAPLACE — Data released this week by the Louisiana Department of Health revealed 66.4 percent of the people who have died from COVID-19 in Louisiana had hypertension as an underlying health condition.

Other underlying conditions among COVID-19 fatalities were diabetes (43.52 percent), chronic kidney disease (25.1 percent), obesity (24.7 percent) and cardiac disease (22.67 percent).

Just over 70 percent of those who have died in Louisiana are African American, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. Governor John Bel Edwards said that statistic shows a “big disparity.”

“That deserves more attention, and we’re going to have to dig into that and see what we can do to slow that trend down,” Edwards said.

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

As of the Tuesday update from the Louisiana Department of Health, there were (366) reported cases of COVID-19 and (24) deaths in St. John the Baptist Parish.

As of Tuesday at noon, St. Charles Parish had (285) reported cases and (15) deaths, while St. James has (167) reported cases and (six) deaths.

Statewide, there were (14,867) confirmed cases of COVID-19 across (62) parishes. This marks an increase of (1,857) cases since Monday’s report. There have been (512) deaths, up (35) from Monday. The first death in the state was reported on March 14.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, there were (1,809) COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the state. Of these patients, (563) were on ventilators.

These numbers are updated daily at noon.

As of Friday of last week, the CDC now recommends the usage for cloth face coverings especially in areas of “high community-based transmissions.” This information comes after studies that show a large number of people with the Coronavirus lack symptoms and many that eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.

While social distancing remains important in slowing down the spread of the virus, usage of the cloth mask will help those that have the virus and not realize they have it from spreading it to others.

Cloth masks are easy to make and can be made from a scarf, bandana, face towel, an old tee shirt or other available cloths.

Tee Shirt Mask

  1. Cut the tee shirt in half, from bottom to top.
  2. Fold the bottom to the middle
  3. Fold the top to the middle
  4. Fold the bottom to the middle again
  5. Fold the top to the middle again.
  6. Slide a rubberband on each side about ¼ of the way in.
  7. Fold each side in to meet in the middle.
  8. Place on face with the rubber bands behind the ears.

The cloth masks are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which are critical supplies and should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders. The masks are meant to work with the stay at home proclamation, not replace it.