Wednesday, Governor John Bel Edwards pointed to the death of Jaquan Anderson as evidence that coronavirus meant “everyone is at risk”.
He added: “There is some percentage of population regardless of age and health who are at risk of having serious and severe complications … and that includes death.”
Whilst the investigation into the cause of Jaquan’s death is ongoing, his father, Kevin Moran, said on Thursday that his son had died of “heart failure”.
According to theNew Orleans Advocate, Mr Moran was surprised that his son’s cause of death had been diagnosed as coronavirus, saying: “It was heart failure.
“People don’t want to let you heal. … I’m so upset.”
The teenager was one of 18 deaths announced by the Louisiana Department of Health on Wednesday, as confirmed cases of coronavirus surge around New Orleans.
More than 2,300 people are confirmed to have the virus in Louisiana, which now has the fastest growth rate of cases anywhere in the world.
“This is going to be the disaster that defines our generation,” Collin Arnold, director of New Orleans’ Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, told CNN on Thursday.
As the number of deaths also increases, it is possible that Louisiana officials have been recording deaths not caused by the coronavirus. Official death tallies in the state include anyone who tested positive.
Jaquan Anderson was the only person below the age of 36 in Wednesday’s tally, whilst the oldest was a person aged 98.
On Wednesday, officials in Los Angeles reported the death of a 17-year-old who tested positive for the coronavirus.
The death of the California teenager also remains under investigation. In a statement, the state’s health department said “The case is complex and there may be an alternate explanation for this fatality.”
Older persons and those with underlying health conditions have been assumed to be the most at risk from the coronavirus.