BR.broomecorona.040420. 0282 bf.JPG

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome provides an update to the community regarding the status of COVID-19 in East Baton Rouge Parish Friday April 3, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. Broome also said they are rolling out a new program. Text REDSTICKREADY at 225-243-9991 to get the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding emergency preparedness in EBR Parish (

The overnight surge in coronavirus cases in East Baton Rouge Parish has been anticipated and can be attributed to a logjam of lab results reported to the Louisiana Department of Health, the Mayor's office announced.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in East Baton Rouge Parish rose to 621 on Saturday, a nearly 60% increase from the day before, according to data released by the LDH.

The East Baton Rouge Coroner has reported 20 deaths in the parish related to the virus as of Friday.

"As I have been reporting, we expect to see an increase of COVID-19 cases in East Baton Rouge Parish," Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said in a release sent out after the noon update on the LDH website.

She instead pivoted to hospital capacity, noting 37% of beds are available and 23% of the ICU beds are available in LDH District 2.

Vaccine news in your inbox

Once a week we'll update you on the progress of COVID-19 vaccinations. Sign up today.

"The Louisiana Department of Health and our area hospitals are constantly expanding capacity to prepare for the coming days," Broome said. "Our hospital capacity is the most critical factor in protecting the 20% of COVID-19 patients who will need hospitalization. "

Broome reminded residents up to 80% of people with COVID-19 can be asymptomatic or have only minor symptoms.

"At this point, we should all act as if we have COVID-19," she said. "We need to protect our vulnerable population by rigorously practicing social distancing in the coming weeks. Everyone plays a vital role in protecting our community and helping to flatten the curve."

Email Jacqueline DeRobertis at