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New Orleans under Code Red level for COVID – WWLTV.com


Nov 19, 2020

Dr. Avegno said while the upward trajectory is troubling, it’s not too late to head off another surge.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans leaders just raised the Coronavirus threat in the city to “code red,” the highest level. 

That means there’s an active outbreak in the city. 

“As you’ve seen locally over the last week or so, our cases have been up significantly and our positivity rate, although it’s still very good, has doubled in the last week causing us some concern,” New Orleans Health Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno said. 

According to the city’s COVID-19 dashboard, New Orleans has averaged about 81 new cases a day for the past week. 

The test positive rate has climbed to more than 2 percent. 

Dr. Avegno said while the upward trajectory is troubling, it’s not too late to head off another surge.

“You can read every day it seems like there’s a new state or a new city that is going far back to lockdown,” Avegno said. “We do not want to do that.” 

RELATED: For the first time in 41 years, New Orleans will not have Mardi Gras parades

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Dr. Jeffrey Elder, medical director of the emergency department at the University Medical Center in New Orleans said his hospital is already seeing an uptick in Coronavirus patients. 

“We are starting to see a few more patients over the past few weeks,” Elder said. “We’re nowhere near where we were in March and April and July. This could be an early indicator that we have more of the virus circulating in the community.” 

Right now, there are about a dozen Coronavirus patients being treated at UMC.  

Dr. Elder warns that number could increase in a hurry if we’re not careful. 

“Now’s the time to take those public health measures like social distancing, like wearing masks, just being careful in public,” Elder said. 

Louisiana Fire Marshal Butch Browning says statewide the numbers are also heading in the wrong direction. The state reported more than 1,300 new COVID cases on Wednesday. 

“Bottom line is people are getting sick,” Browning said. “We know when people get sick and we know when hospitalizations occur, the end result is we see some people who die.” 

Dr. Avegno worries the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season could make matters worse. She says it’s dangerous to gather indoors with people outside your immediate household. 

“I’m asking everyone for Thanksgiving, please keep it small,” Avegno said. “Please keep it distant. Please keep it outside as much as you possible can.” 

Avegno added the city is now seeing community spread of the coronavirus from parties, large and small. She said people are just getting too close, taking off their masks and infecting one, two or more people. 


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