Coronavirus new

Louisiana reported nearly 600 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday while hospitalizations dropped following a one-day increase, according to figures from the Louisiana Department of Health.

On Thursday, health officials confirmed 581 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 163,222.

(According to the Department of Health, the new case increase may not match the difference between today’s and yesterday’s total case count due to the daily removal of newly identified duplicates and out of state cases.)

The Louisiana Department of Health is also reporting 1,224 “probable” cases, an increase of 185 from last week.

COVID-19 hospitalizations, a key factor in the state’s reopening plan, decreased on Thursday following an increase the day before, falling by 17 overnight to 575 statewide. Ventilator usage also saw a slight decrease, falling by two to 92 statewide.

The statewide death toll increased to 5,241, a jump of 16 from Wednesday. The state is also reporting 182 “probable” deaths, an increase of 14 from last week.

According to officials, Louisiana has conducted approximately 2,236,310 tests either through the state lab or commercial labs. That’s an increase of 17,525 new tests, which puts Thursday’s positivity rate at 3.3 percent, better than the state’s goal of 10 percent.

Louisiana moved into Phase Three of its reopening plan on Sept. 11. The new order is scheduled to run through Friday, Oct. 9.

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