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COVID-19 ventilators in use falls below 100

As Louisiana heads into one of the biggest social weekends of the year, it appears the state has made strong strides against COVID-19, according to statistics released Friday by the Louisiana Department of Health.

According to the LDH’s Friday report, there were 808 patients in the state’s hospitals, and 96 COVID-19 patients were on ventilators.

The number of ventilators in use fell below 100 for the first time since July 3. Thursday’s report listed 128 ventilators in use. On Aug. 4, at the spike of the current outbreak, the state reported 240 ventilators in use.

The number of hospitalizations has also significantly fallen since early August. The first LDH report in August was on Sunday, Aug. 2, when the state reported 1,534 patients in hospitals.

On Friday, the state reported 14 additional deaths, bringing the total to 4,872 since the start of the pandemic. It was the lowest single-day deaths report since July 15 (also 14 deaths reported that day). There were 17 new deaths reported Thursday.

There were 828 new cases reported Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 151,473 reported cases since the start of the pandemic. The LDH says that 134,432 of those cases are now classified as “presumed recovered.”

Testing is rapidly approaching a significant milestone. So far, a total of 1,931,748 tests have been reported — there were 15,545 tests reported Friday. It is likely that the state will surpass 2 million tests sometime in the next week.

Louisiana began reopening for Phase One on May 15-16, and then moved to Phase Two on June 5. Gov. John Bel Edwards announced on Aug. 4 that the state, after seeing an increase in cases and hospitalizations, would remain in Phase Two until Aug. 28. On Aug. 26, Edwards extended Phase Two for two more weeks, until next Friday, Sept. 11.

It is likely that Edwards will hold a press conference sometime early next week, either Tuesday or Wednesday, where he will announce whether the state will move to Phase Three of reopening after the current order expires on Friday.

The LDH releases new statistics every day at noon, except for Saturdays. They can be found online at ldh.la.gov/coronavirus.