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Louisiana surpasses 5,000 coronavirus deaths

The grim milestone comes as Louisiana prepares to enter Phase 3 of reopening.
Credit: AP
A Medical worker watches a patient affected with COVID-19 inside a Marseille hospital, southern France, Thursday, Sept.10, 2020. As the Marseille region has become France's latest virus hotspot, hospitals are re-activating emergency measures in place when the pandemic first hit to ensure they're able to handle growing new cases. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana reached another grim milestone in the battle against COVID-19 Friday, officially surpassing 5,000 confirmed deaths from the disease.

The jarring number comes around six months since Louisiana’s first confirmed case of coronavirus and as the state begins to move into Phase 3.

Overall, Louisiana has 5,032 confirmed deaths from COVID and 156,174 confirmed cases. The state also has 140,440 presumed recoveries.

Nationally, Louisiana is 12th in coronavirus deaths according to data gathered by the New York Times. According to the most recent census data, Louisiana has the 25th largest population in the US.

Louisiana was one of the earliest hotspots for the coronavirus in the United States, but our state’s daily cases and death counts have declined recently.

At the outbreak’s peak, Louisiana averaged 65 deaths per day and more than 1,500 new cases daily. Today, those numbers have been cut by more than half with a 7-day average of 22 deaths per day and 671 new cases per day.

Louisiana’s test positivity rate, seen as a watermark for how well the state is stopping the spread of the virus, has fallen to a 7-day average of 4.09%. The goal is to keep it below 10%.

Edwards is expected to provide more details about what restrictions will be lifted or remain in place when Louisiana moves to Phase 3 Friday afternoon. He did not give details Thursday except to say that a statewide mask mandate will remain in place.

RELATED: Track COVID-19: Louisiana Coronavirus Outbreak Map

RELATED: Daily US coronavirus deaths decline, but trend may reverse in fall

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