New Orleans convened a death care task force and released guidelines on handling coronavirus victims

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The US Surgeon General says African Americans face a higher risk of coronavirus. CNN's Ed Lavandera spoke to a New Orleans physician to help better understand that racial disparity.

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 10:14 AM


With deaths in New Orleans now topping 180 and funeral homes overwhelmed, the city rolled out a grim set of new guidelines this week on how to prepare and handle the victims of coronavirus.

The city, one of the hardest hit in the state, has had at least 4,942 residents also test positive.

"The COVID-19 outbreak has created a tragedy within a tragedy: Compromising the way our residents prepare their deceased love ones to be laid to rest, and share in their grief the way we're accustomed to. And it won't get any easier," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement.

In response to the virus, the mayor also convened a Death Care Task Force, a network of individuals including hospital officials, coroners and funeral directors, tasked in part with upholding safety guidelines as victims are laid to rest.

"We'd like to thank Mayor Cantrell for her leadership in gathering all of the key stakeholders, not just in New Orleans but across the region so that we can work collaboratively to inform our residents on the best practices during this outbreak," the task force said in a statement.

The newly released guidelines say Louisiana will follow the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations on how to handle human remains which may contain coronavirus.

"In patients who die from COVID-19 virus, virus may be transmitted during postmortem care," the city's guidelines say. "Only personnel trained in handling infected human remains and wearing appropriate PPE, should touch or move any COVID-19 infected remains. Handling of the remains should be kept to a minimum."

Showing a grim glimpse into an altering normal, the city also suggested among its guidelines that only immediate family members be in attendance during burials, while others can watch online.

"Families should understand that funeral homes cannot house deceased persons for extended periods of time awaiting the end of this pandemic. Plan to complete services rapidly within 3-to-5 days of date of passing," the guidelines say.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 31715

Reported Deaths: 1984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9189533
Lake3299167
Cass15826
Allen127766
St. Joseph117034
Hendricks112367
Hamilton109992
Johnson1082104
Elkhart100827
Madison58258
Porter48721
Bartholomew48033
Clark45838
LaPorte40821
Tippecanoe3733
Jackson3611
Howard35618
Delaware35434
Hancock31927
Shelby31421
Floyd31338
Boone28235
Morgan26124
Vanderburgh2482
Montgomery22717
White2268
Decatur22431
Clinton2151
Noble18520
Grant18520
Harrison18521
Dubois1822
Greene16723
Warrick16426
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Monroe16010
Henry1597
Vigo1477
Lawrence14322
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Putnam1337
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Whitley392
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Parke170
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Gibson142
Ohio130
Adams121
Warren121
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Unassigned0152

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 112017

Reported Deaths: 4885
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook730973324
Lake7723250
DuPage7207340
Kane5761152
Will5188258
Winnebago195351
McHenry142767
St. Clair99172
Kankakee79942
Kendall71419
Rock Island63622
Champaign5647
Madison53954
Boone39716
Sangamon33126
DeKalb3253
Randolph2593
Jackson22810
McLean21110
Ogle1922
Stephenson1902
Macon18819
Peoria1797
Clinton17716
Out of IL1641
Union1417
LaSalle14012
Whiteside13410
Iroquois1304
Coles1169
Warren1140
Unassigned1100
Jefferson10116
Knox940
Monroe9211
Grundy892
McDonough835
Lee771
Cass670
Henry670
Tazewell673
Williamson551
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin411
Perry410
Pulaski400
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan341
Christian334
Livingston312
Douglas270
Jo Daviess270
Fayette202
Ford201
Jersey201
Washington180
Mason170
Menard170
Woodford172
Shelby161
Bureau151
Mercer150
Carroll132
Hancock130
Franklin120
Crawford110
Fulton110
Piatt110
Bond101
Brown100
Clark100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Schuyler100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
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