Louisiana surpasses 18,000 COVID-19 deaths: LDH

Staff Report

Louisiana has passed 18,000 COVID-19 deaths since the state recorded its first death on March 14, 2020, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

COVID-19, which has claimed more than one million American lives since the start of the pandemic, was the leading cause of death in the United States in 2020 and 2021, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Louisiana, COVID-19 has been the third-leading cause of death since 2020, behind only heart disease and cancer.

"Today we mark a tragic and sobering milestone in Louisiana as we recognize the more than 18,000 loved ones from every corner of this state who are no longer with us because of COVID-19. My prayers today and every day are with the grieving families and communities forever altered by this pandemic,” stated Gov. John Bel Edwards. “

"The amount of loss due to this virus is truly staggering. We remember the 18,000 Louisianans who have died because of COVID-19, and who, along with their loved ones, have paid the ultimate price. We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and continue to do everything we can to save as many lives as possible, with more testing, vaccines and treatments than ever before," stated LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips.

"The magnitude of loss due to a virus that has only been with us for 30 months is difficult and painful to grasp, but it is what focuses and drives our continued efforts to preserve human life," said LDH State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. "We have made critical progress in the fight against COVID-19 and are on the right track. Case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths are on the decline.”

Nearly 2.5 million people in Louisiana have completed their primary vaccine series against COVID-19.

Updated COVID-19 booster shots now available across Louisiana are formulated to offer continued protection against the original strain of the virus, while also offering better protection against the two lineages of the Omicron variant, BA.4 and BA.5, which represent over 90 percent of currently circulating virus.

CDC and LDH recommend that everyone ages 6 months and up get vaccinated against COVID-19 and that everyone ages 5 and up get a booster as soon as they are eligible. 

CDC and LDH recommend everyone 6 months of age and older get their flu shot.