The Louisiana Department of Health's Friday COVID update has given new cases to the state and also to Lafourche Parish.

Total state cases now number 88,590. They were 86,411 yesterday. 

The new cases come from tests processed in the past 24 hours. The state processed 19,803 of those tests yesterday. Adding 2,179 new cases to 19,803 processed tests is a 11.0% positive rate, which is a little higher than it's been in recent days. 

The state has 3,399 deaths from COVID. That is up from 3,375 reported yesterday. 

For Lafourche Parish, COVID cases now number 1,842. They were 1,795 yesterday. The Bayou Area has seen large new increases in COVID cases in recent days - higher than we've seen for many months, and several doctors offices have contacted The Gazette in recent days and have said that patients coming in to be tested have risen. 

But one piece of good news is the parish has 91 COVID deaths, despite the new cases, and there has been just 1 Lafourche death in the past 10 days. 

There were 351 processed tests in Lafourche yesterday. Adding 47 new cases in 351 processed tests is a 13.3% positive rate. 

The most important COVID numbers regard hospitalizations, and those numbers are continuing to go up, but in the past few days, the acceleration has slowed down, which could be a sign of slowed negative momentum. 

Yesterday, there were 1,401 patients hospitalized and 162 on ventilators. 

Today, there are 1,413 hospitalized and 161 on ventilators. 

In the past three days, we have added 51 new hospitalizations total. By comparison, from July 12-14, we added 50+ hospitalizations each day individually, so the slowed growth in hospitalizations is a good sign. 

For our region, Region 3, the progress in the past 24 hours was noticeable and a great sign. 

Our COVID hospitalizations dropped today from 59 yesterday to 49 today. Our ventilator use also dropped from 5 to 3. 

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