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Coronavirus Comes for Louisiana's Cancer Alley

Health + Wellness
Coronavirus Comes for Louisiana's Cancer Alley
The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana has been converted to a 1,000-bed field hospital for coronavirus patients to alleviate stress on local hospitals. Chris Graythen / Getty Images

An area in Louisiana whose predominantly black and brown residents are hard-hit by health problems from industry overdevelopment is experiencing one of the highest death rates from coronavirus of any county in the United States.


St. John the Baptist parish, which sits along the Gulf Coast region known as Cancer Alley, has seen 30 of its 43,000 residents die of Covid-19 since the outbreak began – a death rate of 68.7 per 100,000 people, compared to New York City's rate of 29.

"We were getting calls almost every hour," parish coroner Christy Montegut told The Guardian. "...They all died in the same way. They got to a hospital, were on a ventilator, but the body just couldn't keep going. They died in spite of full treatment. The virus is overwhelming."

For a deeper dive:

The Guardian, Vice, Times-Picayune, CA Healthline

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