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Saturday March 28th, 2020 5:43PM

At least 7 Louisiana nursing homes now dealing with virus

By The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana, New York and Georgia lead the nation in the number of nursing homes with coronavirus cases, a federal report shows.

There are at least seven homes in each of the three states where confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases have been detected, according to Sunday's report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Current or suspected cases of COVID-19 have been found in at least four nursing homes in each of three other states: Washington, Illinois and New Jersey.

This coronavirus causes only minor flu-like symptoms in most people, who recover in a matter of weeks. But it is highly contagious and can cause severe illness or death in higher numbers among the elderly and people with underlying health problems.

The FEMA report breaks out the total number of nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities dealing with the virus.

In a separate category tracking assisted living facilities, the report shows that Washington state and New Jersey have some of the highest numbers of confirmed or suspected cases in those types of facilities.

In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered all 4.6 million residents to voluntarily stay at home starting at 5 p.m. on Monday unless they're performing an essential task like getting food or medicine.

First-responders and workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, doctors' offices and other critical infrastructure are exempt from his directive, which will remain in effect until April 12, and could be extended beyond that.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

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