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LDH reports COVID backlog, as cases, hospitalizations and percent positivity increase


BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The Louisiana Department of Health says it will report a newly identified backlog of COVID-19 tests on Friday in addition to its standard reporting.

Citing a processing error in the electronic lab reporting system, LDH says it will report a backlog of 2,538 COVID cases on 69,125 tests reported to the state.

The LDH notes that the backlogged cases come from all regions, with the greatest impacted being in the Shreveport/Bossier (498 cases) and Monroe (872 cases) areas.

The state’s public health department updates its coronavirus dashboard daily around noon, except on Saturdays. As of Thursday, the state was reporting a total of 211,966 confirmed and probable cases and 6,199 deaths.

In addition to noting that percent positivity is increasing statewide, the LDH says the percent positivity rate has increased over the last 14 days in 55 of 64 parishes and hospitalizations per capita for the state have also increased over the last 14 days.

Gov. John Bel Edwards released a video message Friday morning urging all residents to take COVID-19 seriously this holiday season as the state enters its third surge.

The following details were released in a statement Friday morning:

While this will result in a significant increase in reported COVID cases today, the Department will reallocate these backlogged lab results back to their specimen collection dates, which range from 9/12 to 11/18. Of the 2,538 total backlog, 1,038 COVID cases date back to Halloween (10/31).

These cases come from all regions, with the greatest impacted being in the Shreveport/Bossier (498 cases) and Monroe (872 cases) areas. The majority of these cases (85%) are tied to community spread, not congregate settings like nursing homes.

Last Friday, LDH reported a new record — the biggest single-day increase reported since the start of the pandemic in Louisiana. New cases among multiple age groups are increasing sharply across the state. Notable increases continued for nursing home residents and staff cases over the past week.

Percent positivity is also increasing statewide. The Department has identified an increase in percent positivity in 55 of 64 parishes.

Hospitalizations per capita for the state are increasing over the last 14 days.

On Wednesday, LDH reported 4 new bar outbreaks with 21 associated cases in the past week. Four new church outbreaks with 13 associated cases have been identified since November 10. Additional outbreaks have been also been identified at restaurants, gyms and industrial settings.

Since that report, an additional 18 outbreaks with 97 associated cases have been reported this week. These include 4 new outbreaks tied to restaurants, 4 new outbreaks tied to industrial settings and 3 new outbreaks tied to religious events/services. Sadly, 2 deaths among religious service-related outbreak cases have been reported.

LDH has identified an increased number of outbreaks and cases associated with small social gatherings — happy hours, game nights and family dinners. The public should keep this in mind with less than a week until Thanksgiving.

Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands often. Take any small gathering outdoors. We know these simple public health measures work when we all take them to heart.

Statement released Friday, Nov. 20 by the Louisiana Department of Health

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