Coronavirus file photo stock of funeral precautions in New Orleans

Pallbearers, who were among only 10 allowed mourners, walk the casket for internment at the funeral for Larry Hammond, who died from the coronavirus, at Mount Olivet Cemetery in New Orleans, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Deaths tied to the coronavirus more than doubled in East Baton Rouge Parish from two weeks ago after the coroner's office reported 22 additional deaths from this past week.

The newly reported deaths between July 20 and Monday brought the parish's death toll to 315 since March and eclipsed the previous week when the coroner's office reported 10 deaths linked to the virus. 

Patients this week ranged in age from a 30 year old to a 101-year-old nursing home resident. All 22 patients had underlying medical conditions that made them more vulnerable to worsened outcomes, said parish coroner Dr. William "Beau" Clark. 

The 30-year-old was admitted to a hospital on July 7 and died Saturday, according to the coroner's office. Four patients were listed as residents of hospice centers and nursing homes, which have seen a recent rise in new cases that mirrors an overall increase in cases across Louisiana. 

Louisiana surpassed more than 100,000 cases this past week, and health officials say hospitals have felt strains from an influx of patients.

The majority of fatal cases this past week in East Baton Rouge Parish saw patients die in hospitals, though two people died at their homes while self-isolating, according to the coroner's office. 

Reports from the parish Coroner's Office had typically been ahead of reporting from the state Department of Health, especially when the parish office was reporting deaths daily during the pandemic this spring. But, more recently, as the Coroner's Office has shifted to weekly reporting, the state counts have had a chance to catch up to the coroner's weekly tallies. 

That was the case this past week. More than half of the 22 cases the Coroner's Office reported on Monday have previously been counted in the health department counts, which were at 306 deaths through Sunday. The state count of parish deaths sits at 310 on Monday, five behind the latest tally from the Coroner's Office.

The latest Louisiana Department of Health data shows more than 3,600 people in the state  have died from complications linked to COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, most having other underlying illnesses. 


Email Youssef Rddad at yrddad@theadvocate.com, and follow him on Twitter @youssefrddad