Coronavirus new

Louisiana confirmed nearly 4,300 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, which includes a backlog of 2,538 cases, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

On Friday, health officials reported 4,296 confirmed COVID-19 cases to bring the statewide total to 207,039. Most of that is due to a backlog in cases, with some specimen collection dates going back as far as September.

“Due to a processing error in the electronic lab reporting system, LDH will report a backlog of 2,538 COVID cases on 69,125 tests reported to the state,” officials said in a statement earlier Friday.

“While this will result in a significant increase in reported COVID cases today, the Department will reallocate these backlogged lab results back to their specimen collection dates, which range from 9/12 to 11/18. Of the 2,538 total backlog, 1,038 COVID cases date back to Halloween (10/31).”

In addition, health officials are reporting 9,670 “probable” cases, an overnight increase of 447.

That gives the state a total of 216,709 COVID-19 cases.

(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 number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continued its recent rise, increasing by 43 for the second straight day to bring the statewide total to 972, the most since Aug. 21.

A key factor in the state’s reopening plan, hospitalizations have increased in 13 of the last 15 updates. Since Oct. 4, they have risen by 454 statewide, including by 280 in the last week.

Ventilator usage rose by 13 on Friday to 101 statewide, figures show. That’s the first time the state is reporting at least 100 patients on ventilators since Sept. 20.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths reached 5,985, an increase of 34 from Thursday. The Department of Health is also reporting 248 “probable” deaths, the same as the day before.

According to officials, Louisiana has now conducted approximately 3,286,083 tests either through the state lab or commercial labs. That includes 3,199,707 molecular tests and 86,376 antigen tests.

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