John Bel Edwards places white flags on Capitol lawn to mark COVID-19 deaths

    BRIEF

    COVID-19 flags
    Gov. John Bel Edwards put 9,758 white flags on the lawn of the Louisiana Capitol Monday -- one for each person killed by COVID-19 in the state. (Photo by Julia O'Donoghue/Louisiana Illuminator)

    Gov. John Bel Edwards’ staff placed 9,758 white flags on the lawn of the Louisiana Capitol Monday — one for each person in Louisiana who has died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

    Wednesday marks the one year anniversary since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Louisiana. Sunday marks the year anniversary of the first recorded death in Louisiana from COVID-19.

    The governor’s staff said they will be adding white flags to the display every day through Sunday as new deaths are reported.

    Louisiana’s COVID-19 death rate has been dropping in recent weeks as the state has rolled out vaccinations, but the disease is still fatal. On Monday, Louisiana attributed 10 deaths in the state to the disease.

    COVID-19 has been especially deadly for older people. Over 68 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Louisiana occurred in people 70 and older. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the  median age of a person who died from COVID-19 was 76, meaning half the state’s fatalities occurred in people over that age.