BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Louisiana Department of Health is reporting 11,109 new cases since Friday and 27 new deaths as Gov. John Bel Edwards prepares to announce whether he will be reinstating a statewide mask order as cases continue to surge statewide.
The new cases bring the statewide total cases to 552,787 and deaths to over 11,000 with a total of 11,026. The LDH says Monday’s update represents increases across all age groups and regions of the state and that 98% of the new cases are on tests collected in the past week and not from a backlog.
They also say the vast majority of these cases (97.9%) are tied to community spread rather than congregate settings like nursing homes.
The latest update from the state department of health comes as Gov. John Bel Edwards prepares for an announcement on Monday afternoon on whether he will be reinstating a statewide mask order.
In a press conference on Friday, July 30, the governor stopped short of reinstating the mandate but said he was “seriously considering” the matter. At the time of the press conference, new information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had just come out, and Edwards and State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter both said they wanted to dive deeper into the information over the weekend before announcing a decision.
According to LDH as of Monday, those not fully vaccinated account for 90% of the cases from July 15 to July 21 and 85 % of the deaths. The data show 90% of current COVID hospitalizations are among those not fully vaccinated.
Hospitalizations continued their sharp rise over the weekend, reaching 1,984 statewide. That is just 85 shy of the peak reached during the third surge in January. The number of patients on ventilators has also risen sharply. One month ago Monday, there were 29 patients on ventilators across the state. That number has increased more than six-fold, to 213.
In Northwest Louisiana, 175 are hospitalized and 22 are on ventilators. ICU beds in the region are now at nearly 86% capacity, compared to 79% last week. Just under 78% of the region’s hospital beds are in use.
Region 7 in Northwest Louisiana remains below 31% vaccinated.
Of the 879 new cases in NWLA reported on Monday, more than half (448) are in Caddo Parish, which also reported two more deaths from COVID. A total of 773 people have died in Caddo from the coronavirus.
Another 190 new cases were reported in Bossier Parish, along with two more deaths, bringing the toll there to 316. Natchitoches reported 62 new cases and one new death for a total of 84. De Soto Parish added 54 new cases, Webster 52, and Sabine 28. Bienville added 62 new cases, Claiborne 17, and Red River added six.