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Louisiana sees largest single-day rise in COVID hospitalizations since April

The net rise of 93 hospitalizations on Tuesday marks the largest single-day increase in hospitalizations since April 7.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

NEW ORLEANS — The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in Louisiana increased by 93 on Tuesday, marking the largest single-day increase in that total since the state’s first surge of the virus in April.

The Louisiana Department of Health reported on Tuesday that 1,516 patients are hospitalized across the state with COVID-19. Of those patients, 165 require ventilators.

The net rise of 93 hospitalizations on Tuesday marks the largest single-day increase in hospitalizations since April 7. The number of patients is still below the peaks seen in April (2,134 patients hospitalized) and July (1,600 patients hospitalized).

[Track COVID-19: Louisiana Coronavirus Outbreak Map]

Coronavirus hospitalizations in the state and across the U.S. have sharply increased since the beginning of November, intensifying worries that hospitalizations could overwhelm hospital capacity.

In Louisiana’s health region one, which includes the New Orleans area, about 27 percent of all intensive care unit beds were available on Tuesday. The city’s health department has said bed capacity would be considered critical if that number fell below 30 percent.

In health region nine, which includes areas north of Lake Pontchartrain, only about 17 percent of all intensive care beds were available. 

Deaths from COVID-19 across the nation have soared to more than 2,200 a day, matching the frightening peak reached in April. 

The crisis is all but certain to get worse because of the fallout from Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

It’s quite frankly shocking to see one to two persons a minute die in the U.S. — a country with a wonderful, strong health system, amazing technological capacities,” said Dr. Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization’s chief of emergencies.

The virus is blamed for more than 280,000 deaths and almost 15 million confirmed infections in the United States. More than 6,600 people in Louisiana have died since the outbreak was first detected in early March.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.