Health officials are reporting 106 new positive cases of coronavirus in East Baton Rouge, bringing the parish total to 3,319.
Statewide, cases rose by 1,188 due to a backlog of old tests, some dating as far back as March 25. More than 62% of the new cases on Thursday were from new labs reporting their tests for the first time, the Louisiana Department of Health reported.
The new cases helped the 12-parish Baton Rouge area break 7,000 cases, adding 170 new cases for a tally of 7,050 since the viral outbreak began, an Advocate analysis shows.
Some of the earliest positive cases those backlog tests are now bringing to light involve persons, who under the state's own guidelines, would now be presumed to have recovered from the viral infection. Statewide nearly 26,250 people were presumed to have recovered through Saturday before the latest case information has been reported.
In a daily noon update, the Department of Health reported a total of 36,504 coronavirus cases across the state, up from 35,316 on Wednesday.
“While this is the biggest single increase in cases we have seen since April 9, it is important to understand the context,” said Dr. Alex Billioux, the assistant secretary of the Office of Public Health. “Not only are there cases here dating back to late March, but we also have increased testing. That only 6.1% of all these test results are positive is a good sign. Our goal is to keep that number below 10%, the goal set by the federal government.”
“We believe we are beginning to see the impact of comprehensive testing across congregate settings and workplace outbreaks. This is what suppression of COVID-19 looks like—and it is critical to moving our state forward,” Dr. Billioux said.
In the Baton Rouge area, the number completed tests broke 1,500 for the second time in three days on Thursday, passing a daily testing threshold researchers at Harvard University have said would be the minimum needed to safely reopen society.
Between Sunday and Thursday, the 12-parish area's daily rate of positives to tests has been an average of 8.2%. That represents a downward trend compared with rolling averages from prior weeks.
East Baton Rouge Parish is also trending down in its rate of positives tests, but the figure remains above the 10% positive case threshold, hitting an average 12.6% of completed tests resulting in positive cases since Sunday, the Advocate analysis shows.
The prior week's average was 13.6% of completed tests turning up positive, the analysis shows.
Currently, 884 patients in Louisiana are hospitalized, continuing a downward trend.
In Louisiana, 2,506 people have died. No new deaths were reported in East Baton Rouge, according to the parish coroner.
See full list of data below.
NOTE: TABS AT BOTTOM OF MAP CAN BE USED TO NAVIGATE SUBSETS OF STATEWIDE AND LOCAL INFORMATION, SUCH AS PARISH-BY-PARISH TOTALS, VENTILATOR USE, AGE GROUPS AND MORE.