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State’s COVID ventilator use drops below 300

The state of Louisiana now has fewer than 300 hospitalized COVID-19 patients on ventilators, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Louisiana Department of Health.

On Tuesday at noon, the LDH reported that the state had 1,798 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, and 297 of those patients required ventilators. On Monday, the state had reported 1,794 hospitalized patients, and 332 ventilators in use.

Some early state projection models had forecast the need for as many as 1,000 ventilators, in just the New Orleans region alone. However, those models were basing projections on what would be needed without a stay-at-home order or proper social distancing.

The drop in ventilator use has been a continuous trend for about a week. On Tuesday, April 14, there were 436 ventilators in use. This number fell nearly every consecutive day after that — 425 on Wednesday, 396 on Thursday, 363 on Friday, 347 on Saturday, 349 on Sunday, 332 on Monday, and 297 on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s report of 297 ventilators is the first time the state has reported fewer than 300 ventilators in use, since March 27 — when 270 were in use.

The number of hospitalizations has also dropped considerably from the recorded census of 1,977 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, April 14.

On Tuesday, the LDH said that there had been 24,854 cases of COVID-19 reported, with 1,405 deaths. On Monday, there had been 24,523 cases and 1,328 deaths reported.

The increase between Monday’s statewide update and Tuesday’s update was an additional 331 cases and an additional 77 deaths.

Washington Parish had reported 206 cases and 13 deaths, according to the Tuesday update. On Monday, the parish had reported 195 cases and 11 deaths.

There had been 1,067 cases in St. Tammany Parish, with 74 deaths, and 489 cases in Tangipahoa Parish, with 19 deaths.

The LDH said at noon Tuesday that there had been 6,578 tests completed by the state laboratory, and another 144,259 tests reported to the state by commercial labs — a total of 150,837 tests. There had been 141,561 tests reported in Monday’s update.

There had been 557 tests reported from Washington Parish, as of Tuesday’s update.

Comparing deaths to cases, the state reported 24,854 cases and 1,405 deaths — a ratio of 5.6 percent. Comparing overall tests to cases/positive tests, the state reported 150,837 tests and 24,854 cases — a ratio of 16.5 percent.

The LDH releases updated statistics each day at approximately noon. For complete statistics, visit the LDH online at ldh.la.gov/coronavirus.