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State reports near-lows in hospitalizations, ventilator use, as governor prepares to address next steps

The state of Louisiana set new near-lows in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and patients on ventilators, according to statistics released Monday at noon by the Louisiana Department of Health.

According to the LDH’s Monday report, the state had 1,310 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 157 of those patients required ventilators. On Sunday, the state reported 1,324 hospitalizations and 161 ventilators in use.

The number of hospitalizations is the lowest it has been since March 30, when the state reported 1,158 patients. The state began reporting the stat on March 23, when it listed 242 patients in the opening census.

The number of patients on ventilators is the lowest it has been since March 24, when the state reported 94 ventilators in use — that was also the first day in which the state reported that statistic.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to hold a press conference at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon. The current Stay at Home order has been extended until Friday, May 15, and it is believed that Edwards will announce today whether the order will need to be extended further.

If Edwards does not extend the order, it is likely that the state will enter “Phase One” of reopening. In this phase, businesses such as barbershops, hair and nail salons, and dine-in restaurants would be allowed to reopen — at a smaller fraction of their normal full capacity.

Facilities such as gyms, movie theaters and churches could also be allowed to re-open, as long as social distancing regulations are still followed.

The LDH said Monday that there had been 31,815 cases of COVID-19 reported, with 2,242 deaths. On Sunday, there had been 31,600 cases and 2,213 deaths reported.

The increase between Sunday’s statewide update and Monday’s update was an additional 215 cases and an additional 29 deaths.

Washington Parish had reported 342 cases and 26 deaths, according to the Monday update. On Sunday, the parish had reported 337 cases and 26 deaths.

There had been 1,436 cases in St. Tammany Parish, with 136 deaths (an additional 11 cases and three deaths compared to Sunday), and 670 cases in Tangipahoa Parish, with 28 deaths (an additional 16 cases and an additional zero deaths compared to Sunday).

There had been 2,174 COVID-19 tests reported from Washington Parish, as of Monday’s update.

In Monday’s update, the LDH said that 9,804 tests had been completed by the state laboratory, and an additional 211,026 tests had been reported from commercial laboratories — a total of 220,830 tests. The state had reported a total of 215,872 tests in Sunday’s update.

The state of Louisiana also reports the number of “presumed recovered” cases of COVID-19. In Monday’s report, the total of presumed recovered cases was 22,608, as of May 10. The previous report was released on May 2, with 20,316 presumed recovered cases — a difference of 2,292 additional recoveries.

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