BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 around Louisiana is poised to surpass the all-time high reached at the peak of the pandemic in April.
According to the latest data released by the Louisiana Department of Health Tuesday, there are now 1,974 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, with 205 on ventilators. That is 83 more than were reported on Sunday. The new nine-month high is just 17 hospitalizations short of the 1,991 reached at the height of the first surge back on April 12.
The LDH noted the rising hospitalizations Tuesday morning when it released a statement announcing that vaccines left over at hospitals originally intended for first-priority groups can now be used for any of the currently eligible groups. In that statement, the state health department said the impact of the holidays remains to be seen.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has said positivity rates and hospitalizations are critical factors in deciding how to move forward with restrictions under emergency orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Louisiana remains under revised Phase 2 restrictions after stepping back from Phase 3 restrictions in November.
Hospitalizations in Northwest Louisiana passed the previous all-time high of 299 in early December and have continued to rise to new heights daily since Christmas, reaching 375 as of Monday.
The Louisiana Department of Health reported 4,454 new COVID-19 cases statewide and 50 more deaths Tuesday, bringing the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases reported in the state to 326,648 and deaths to 7,635.
Of the new cases reported, the LDH says 3,585 are confirmed and 869 are probable.
Also according to the LDH:
- The vast majority (95%) of these newly reported cases are tied to COVID spreading in communities, rather than in congregate settings like nursing homes.
- 99.5% of these cases date back to the past week (12/28-1/4).
- These cases are out of 46,592 tests reported to the state (5,422 antigen, 41,170 molecular). In this first week of January, Louisiana already has completed 100,074 tests.
Of the 773 new confirmed and probable cases reported in Northwest Louisiana Tuesday, 302 were in Caddo Parish, which also reported an additional death for a total of 523 since the outbreak began.
Bossier Parish reported 198 new cases and another death, bringing the total deaths in the parish from COVID-19 to 201. Webster Parish reported 84 new cases, Sabine 53, Claiborne 48, Bienville 31, Natchitoches 21, De Soto 20, and Red River 16.
There are now 40,939 COVID-19 cases reported in Region 7 and 1,069 deaths.