NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana saw a single death from coronavirus reported Sunday, for the first time since March.
The death toll from COVID-19 rose from 2,992 to 2,993 Sunday, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. It's a welcome sign for the state, which has seen worrying upticks in the number of cases reported for several days.
State health officials reported just under 400 new cases Sunday, down from 870 Saturday and the lowest reported since last Sunday, when 336 new cases were reported.
Sundays have had low reported numbers since the pandemic began in Louisiana, with higher numbers coming in on weekdays.
But even with that caveat, the number of people hospitalized with the virus rose Sunday by 15, from 574 to 589. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by four, to 69 patients Sunday.
The Sunday update comes at a pivotal moment for Louisiana. Gov. John Bel Edwards' Phase 2 reopening order is set to expire on June 26, meaning he will either extend it or allow the state to move into Phase 3 of reopening.
For Phase 1 and 2, the governor has held press conferences the Monday before each phase's deadline to announce his decision about reopening. No press conference had been scheduled for Monday as of Sunday's noon coronavirus update.
Health experts and Edwards himself have cautioned about recent trends in the numbers, indicating that the virus is starting to spread again as people return to public spaces, as evidence that the state might not be ready for Phase 3.
Friday, two clusters of coronavirus cases, traced back to Tigerland bars in Baton Rouge and graduation parties in New Orleans, infected at least 130 new patients with coronavirus.