The Louisiana Department of Health resumed updating the state's official count of reported COVID-19 cases Friday after taking a closer look at the data to ensure duplicate and out-of-state cases were not being counted.
Friday's total of reported coronavirus cases stood at 48,515 - a slight dip from Wednesday's count of 48,634.
"LDH has implemented a new process for improved de-duplication and parish assignment of data received from labs around the state. In doing so, LDH identified a total of 1,666 existing duplicate cases as well as cases of out-of-state residents. These have been removed in the updated case count today," read a statement posted alongside Friday's update on the department's online COVID-19 dashboard.
State health officials say the majority of the 1,547 new cases reported from Thursday and Friday came from community spread.
“Cases are rising across Louisiana, especially but not solely in the Acadiana, Central and Southwest regions of the state. We are seeing increases in hospitalizations too,” said Dr. Alex Billioux, assistant secretary of the Office of Public Health. “These increases and decreases do not just happen. They are a direct result of our everyday actions. We did the hard work in flattening the curve early on. We stayed home, wore masks and stayed six feet apart. Thank you to everyone who continues to do so – it is the only way we will get through this.”
The number of those hospitalized fell by 24 to 561 with 75 of those on ventilators, while the death toll from COVID-19 increased by 22 to 2,972.