BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Louisiana Department of Health is reporting more than 1,100 new coronavirus cases Thursday, reflecting a massive bump in test results reported over the past 24 hours.
Results from 19,411 tests performed by state and commercial labs since Wednesday identified 1,188 new positive COVID-19 cases statewide, more than doubling the average daily tests reported to the state over the past seven days.
That increase in testing resulted in the largest number of new positive cases reported in a single day since April 10. It is worth noting that the overall positivity rate determined by comparing the number of tests performed to the number of positive cases actually dropped below 12 percent Thursday. The average positivity rate for the previous seven days was 14.58 percent.
305,381 have been tested in Louisiana since the pandemic began.
Twenty-one deaths from the coronavirus were reported on Thursday, bringing the death toll statewide to 2,506. The average number of deaths reported daily has dropped from 33 on May 15 to 22 on Thursday.
The number of patients hospitalized for the coronavirus in Louisiana dropped even lower Thursday, after dropping below 1,000 Wednesday for the first time since March 29.
According to the latest Department of Health data, there are now 884 patients in the hospital for treatment of COVID-19, compared to 931 on Tuesday.
The number of patients on ventilators also continues to drop, with 107 as of Thursday, compared to 110 on Wednesday, which was the lowest since March 25 — the second day for which the state coronavirus website shows such reports. It showed 94 patients needing mechanical help to breathe on March 24 and 163 on March 25.
The number of ventilated patients peaked nine days before hospitalizations, at 571 on April 4.
The number of patients presumed recovered is updated weekly and stands at 26,249 as of Saturday, May 16.
The increased testing was also evident in Northwest Louisiana, where 475 new cases were reported Thursday, 333 of them in Caddo. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, those new positive cases were from the results of 6,290 tests performed. The parish now has 2,272 total confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
The LDH is still reporting 156 deaths in Caddo. On Friday, however, the Caddo Coroner’s office was reporting a total of 172 deaths. There can be a lag in locally reported cases and deaths appearing on the state health department dashboard.
Bossier reported 21 additional cases, De Soto and Webster reported seven. Bienville reported 60 new cases and Natchitoches 38. Sabine is also reporting eight new cases, and Red River has added one.
As of noon Thursday, May 21, 2020, the LDH reported the following data on confirmed cases, deaths and COVID-19 tests in northwest Louisiana:
- Caddo – 2,272 case(s) | 156 death(s) | 127 state tests | 26,748 commercial tests
- Bossier – 374 case(s) | 24 death(s) | 46 state tests | 9,789 commercial tests
- De Soto – 235 case(s) | 16 death(s) | 20 state tests | 2,320 commercial tests
- Webster – 126 case(s) | 5 death(s) | 13 state tests | 2,636 commercial tests
- Claiborne – 58 case(s) | 10 death(s) | 36 state tests | 752 commercial tests
- Bienville – 114 case(s) | 21 death(s) | 20 state tests | 1,154 commercial tests
- Natchitoches – 141 case(s) | 13 death(s) | 69 state tests | 1,563 commercial tests
- Sabine – 39 case(s) | 0 death(s) | 30 state tests | 852 commercial tests
- Red River – 44 case(s) | 6 death(s) | 16 state tests | 410 commercial tests