BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Louisiana Department of Health says Wednesday’s new case count is the highest number reported without a backlog since the first case was identified in the state in early March.
“Today marks nine months since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Louisiana,” LDH said in posts on Facebook and Twitter. “Today’s case count is the highest number of new cases reported without a backlog since that first case was identified on March 9.”
The LDH reported 4,339 new COVID-19 cases statewide and 32 more deaths Wednesday, bringing the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases reported in the state to 258,914 and deaths to 6,684.
The state’s updated dashboard also shows positivity rates rising in all but eight of the state’s 64 parishes. All nine of the parishes in Northwest Louisiana are among those with rising positivity rates.
- Because of the daily removal of newly identified duplicates and out of state cases, the new case increase may not match the difference between Wednesday’s and Tuesday’s total case count.
- The collection dates for most of these cases (87.3%) fall between December 1 and December 8.
- 98% of the cases reported to the state Wednesday were community spread.
- 2% of the cases reported to the state Wednesday were in congregate settings.
- Individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 account for 19% of these cases.
- Since Tuesday, 41,054 new tests have been reported to the state, bringing the total number of tests to 3,801,983. Of the tests reported today, 30,842 were PCR tests and 10,212 were antigen tests.
Hospitalizations also continue to rise, both statewide and in Northwest Louisiana. There are now 1,537 people in hospitals around the state because of COVID-19, according to the latest data available. That is up 21 from the number of statewide hospitalizations yesterday and closing in on the second peak of 6,000 reached back in July. The number of patients on ventilators also rose by another 12 to 177.
Hospitalizations in Northwest Louisiana have already surpassed the region’s summer peak of 299, rising by another two to 214, with 25 patients on ventilators. According to the latest LDH data, the region’s hospitals are now at 80% capacity and more than 85% of the region’s ICU beds are occupied.
Of the 287 new confirmed and probable cases reported in Northwest Louisiana since Tuesday, 95 were in Caddo Parish and 86 were in Bossier Parish. Each has also reported two and three new deaths, respectively. Sabine reported 29 new cases, Natchitoches 25, De Soto 21, Claiborne 15, and Bienville 11. Webster also added three cases, and Red River added two.
If you have a fever or cough, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away.