A nurse at Ochsner Lafayette General has died from complications from COVID-19, according to social media posts from friends and co-workers.

UPDATE Olivia Guidry's cause of death unclear; autopsy scheduled, Ochsner Lafayette General says

Olivia Guidry, a registered nurse in the emergency department, died Saturday after battling the virus for days in the hospital's intensive care unit.

Friends, who had been pleading for prayers for the young woman, expressed grief as the news of her death spread Saturday afternoon.

Guidry graduated from LSU Alexandria with a nursing degree. She was taking pre-med courses at LSU Eunice and hoped to go to medical school.

Guidry was diagnosed with COVID in early July, according to a social media post from her sister, Brittany Smith. She spiked a high fever and had a seizure, Smith wrote. She was placed in a medically induced coma on Thursday.

Brooke McIntyre wrote in a Saturday Facebook post that she visited Guidry last Wednesday and is thankful she did. While the two women were talking in the hospital hall, McIntyre said one of Guidry's patients was being wheeled out to his room.

Top stories in Acadiana in your inbox

Twice daily we'll send you the day's biggest headlines. Sign up today.

"He pointed at you and said, 'You. You are the best nurse I've ever had. You came (every) time I called,'" McIntyre wrote. "I pointed back at (Guidry) and said 'She's the best we've got!'"

A vigil was planned for Guidry's friends, family and co-workers Sunday evening.

While deaths related to COVID have decreased dramatically in Louisiana since their peak a year ago, recent reports have pointed to Louisiana as one of the most vulnerable areas in the United States to a coronavirus outbreak and an area that is highly susceptible to producing variants.

The analysis by researchers at Georgetown University identified hotspots around the U.S. where vaccination is low and the population is high enough that there is a good chance for interaction.

In the past two weeks, Louisiana, along with Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee, has seen cases increase around 100%.

Lafayette Parish and the state have a vaccination rate of about 36%, below the national vaccination rate of nearly 50%. In Lafayette Parish, there have been more than 24,000 positive COVID cases and 294 have died, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

Staff writers Kristin Askelson and Megan Wyatt contributed to this report.


Email Kristin Askelson at kaskelson@theadvocate.com.