COVID update: New cases, hospital patients, positivity rate down

Published 3:09 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2020

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The state of Louisiana has seen an entire week of daily positive COVID-19 test rates of less than 7 percent, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Louisiana Department of Health.

In Tuesday’s update, the state said that 15,702 tests had been reported and there were 640 positive cases — a positivity rate of 4.1 percent. This continued a trend of seven straight reports (there are no reports released on Sundays) with a positivity rate of 7 percent or lower.

The positivity rate on Monday, Aug. 10, was 7.6 percent. Since then, every report has had a lower positivity rate — 5.6 percent on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 3.9 percent on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 6.5 percent on Thursday, 6.2 percent on Friday, 5.6 percent on Saturday, 3.5 percent on Monday, and 4.1 percent on Tuesday.

The federal benchmark is considered less than 10 percent, in order to show that the virus is becoming to come under control. In July, there were 11 days with a positivity rate of more than 10 percent — there have been zero such days in August.

Other statistics are showing promising signs, as well.

The 640 new cases reported Tuesday was the second straight day of a report of less than 700 cases. Monday’s report listed an additional 567 cases. From Aug. 11-16, there was at least 1,100 cases reported each day.

As of Tuesday, the total number of cases reported to the state was 139,125.

There were 28 new deaths reported Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 4,431. In August, the state has averaged 33.1 deaths per day. This is an increase from July’s average of 25.8 deaths per day.

The state reported 1,204 hospitalized patients on Tuesday, a decrease of 22 patients from Monday’s report. On Aug. 1, the state reported 1,534 hospitalizations. On Tuesday, the state reported 187 patients on ventilators, an increase of three from Monday’s report. On Aug. 1, the state reported 221 patients on ventilators.

By comparison, the statistical average in July was 1,303.18 hospitalizations per day, and 154.8 patients on ventilators per day.

The state is currently under “Phase Two” of re-opening. That order will continue until at least Friday, Aug. 28. It is likely that Gov. John Bel Edwards will announce sometime earlier that week whether the state will move to a different phase, or continue the existing order.

The LDH releases new statistics every day at noon, except for Saturdays. They can be found online at