The Louisiana Department of Health has given new COVID-19 cases to the state and Lafourche Parish.

State cases have risen from 49,385 to 49,778 in the new update, which comprises cases processed from 12:01 p.m. to 11:59 a.m. today.

The state processed 5,996 of those tests in the past 24 hours.

Louisiana deaths rose from 2,992 to 2,993 in the new update. The state had just one new death in the past 24 hours. Though deaths are usually slower to be reported on the weekends, to have just 1 in 24 hours is a new benchmark for the state. 

For Lafourche Parish, there were new cases, too. Parish cases rose from 1,005 to 1,010 in the new update. Parish deaths are the same, sitting at 83.

For a pandemic that is now three-plus months old, the most important numbers to track are the hospitalizations and ventilator use. Those numbers paint a more accurate picture than total cases, and hospitalization numbers dictate whether we can continue to make progress in our re-opening efforts.

State hospitalizations were once 2,100+ at the peak of the pandemic. That number is now far smaller and is now 589. It was 574 yesterday.

Ventilator use is down, as well, and is not expected to be an issue - even if there is a "second wave."

A total of 69 patients are on ventilators in Louisiana, a number that's far smaller than the 571 patients using ventilators at the peak. There were 73 people on ventilators yesterday.

At 571 ventilators employed, there were concerns about state supply. But the federal government has issued reinforcements, and there are now thousands of ventilators in stock.

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