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Patients on ventilators fall below 100 for first time in months

Staff Reports
Plaquemine Post South

Fewer than 100 Louisiana coronavirus patients needed ventilators Friday, the lowest number since early in the pandemic when the state was worried it wouldn't have enough of the devices to keep patients alive.

Louisiana's Department of Health reported 90 patients on ventilators, 10 fewer than on Thursday.

The agency also reported hospitalizations continued to fall with 47 fewer patients in hospitals for a total of 714.

Hospitalizations are a key metric in the trajectory of the infection as Gov. John Bel Edwards moves closer to a decision on whether the state can move to Phase 2 of reopening beginning June 5.

But the state reported 26 more coronavirus deaths Friday. Louisiana's COVID-19 death toll is 2,661.

The health department said it wasn't able to update total cases and testing data Friday because of "network technical issues." It said the agency will update that data at Saturday's noon update.