Franklin Parish hit a sad milestone Monday as COVID-19 related deaths eclipsed the century mark.

With 100 fatalities linked to the virus since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Franklin Parish is the least populated of all north Louisiana parishes with 100 or more deaths, according to the Coroner’s Office.

“This is a grim, stunning and absolutely heartbreaking milestone for our parish,” said Shane Scott, coroner spokesman. “Overall, 1 in 200 people have died of Covid in a parish that is populated with only 20,015 residents. We aren’t nearing a trajectory where our death rate would be unsustainable. We’ve done that and now we’re at it.”

Rapides, Bossier, Caddo, Avoyelles, Ouachita and Franklin are the only parishes in the Shreveport, Alexandria and Monroe regions with deaths reaching the triple digits.

The Louisiana Department of Health regions encompass 29 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes.

The first death attributed to the virus in Franklin Parish was on April 4.

Scott said by November 9, the parish death toll was 52, and “by last month on December 9, we were at 72. An additional 28 deaths have occurred since then.”

He said Franklin Parish deaths in 2020 surpassed the 2019 death total from all causes by September. “Death certificates are still being processed and data from October to December is yet to come.”

Out of respect for the families, Scott said the coroner’s office will not release any further information.

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