That State of Louisiana has been one of the hardest hit states when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. But this past Friday brought two shining lights of hope.

First, Phase One of the state's economic reopening started on Friday. That allowed many businesses around the state, that had been closed due to the pandemic, to reopen at 25% capacity. There are a few other restrictions in place as well, but for the most part, it was progress.

Also on Friday, the state saw a massive decline in hospitalizations due to COVID-19. The Louisiana Department of Health reported a decline of more than 100 patients, bringing the state's total hospitalizations for COVID down to 1,091.

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On Sunday, the LDH's COVID update showed another decrease in hospitalizations, dropping the number to 1,019 across the entire state. At the same time, LDH reported there are 111 patients utilizing ventilators for COVID related illnesses.

Last week started (on Monday May 11th) with 1,310 people hospitalized across Louisiana with COVID related illnesses. Through the week, that number dropped, going to 1,194 by Wednesday, and dropping to 1,091 by Friday. A total drop during the week of 219 patients.

A month-to-month comparison from Friday showed a decrease of 852 patients, with 1,943 on April 15th, and 1,091 on May 15th.

If this week trends the same way that the last month, and week, have trended in the state, Louisiana can expect to drop below 1,000 patients hospitalized for the first time since March 28th. If the state matches last week's declines, we will end this week with 800 patients hospitalized across the entire state.