Louisiana coronavirus cases continue rise, but there are encouraging signs in New Orleans – NOLA.com

January 16, 2022

Devin Hymes, an 11th grader at L.B. Landry High School in Algiers, gets tested for the coronavirus on Monday, January 3, 2022. (Photo by Chris Granger | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)
Devin Hymes, an 11th grader at L.B. Landry High School in Algiers, gets tested for the coronavirus on Monday, January 3, 2022. (Photo by Chris Granger | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)
Louisiana once again posted record-breaking numbers of new coronavirus cases on Friday, though declines in new cases in the New Orleans area offered a glimmer of good news about the ongoing outbreak of the omicron variant in the state.
The latest numbers released by the state Department of Health show the weekly count of confirmed cases reaching 59,689 on Friday. That’s an increase of just 4% compared to last Friday’s count, a sign that the fifth wave may be starting to slow its explosive growth statewide.
There are more encouraging signs in New Orleans, where the omicron outbreak was first concentrated in Louisiana. Though the weekly case count of 6,443 in the city is still more than twice the totals reported in any week of the pandemic before the omicron variant emerged, it also marks a 33% drop over the all-time high reached seven days ago.
Experts and state health officials have been expecting the state will turn the corner soon, though they’ve cautioned that predicting a peak is tricky and that the state’s hospitals remain stressed. They’ve said it was likely that the first declines will come in the New Orleans area since it was the first to see cases rise significantly during the current outbreak.
Coronavirus cases continue on a sky-high trajectory in Louisiana, even as scientists are seeing signs of a plateau in the omicron wave in some…
A similar pattern was seen in Jefferson Parish, where 6,807 new confirmed cases were reported over the last seven days. That’s 23% less than were reported in the week before.
It is not yet clear, however, whether there may be testing and data issues clouding the view.
An overarching issue is how many cases in the New Orleans area are actually being reported to the state. At-home testing has become a popular alternative to going to packed urgent cares and pharmacies both in the New Orleans area and around the country. But the vast majority of those test results are not reported to the state and would not be counted as confirmed cases even if they were.
However, the trend toward at-home testing began early in the current wave, so would likely not account for this week’s decline.
There could also be some specific data issues that suggest caution when looking at Friday’s numbers.
Last Friday, New Orleans reported 2,000 new cases, almost double the number it had reported on each of the preceding three days. That could be a sign of delayed reporting that would skew last week’s numbers up and make this week’s drop appear larger than it is.
Then, this week, the state health department suspended its reporting of parish level numbers on Wednesday and Thursday while it was making adjustments to its data systems. While the cases that would have been reported on those days should be included in its Friday update, it remains unclear whether the changes may have introduced any other delays in reporting.
The picture of the pandemic in the New Orleans area should become clearer as more data rolls in next week.
At the same time, the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 in Louisiana continues to rise. There were 2,173 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus on Thursday, the most recent day for which data is available, an increase of 92 over the day before.
The number of hospitalized patients has been rising somewhat steadily since the start of the year, with an average of more than 90 additional patients added every day. That’s left the state with more patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus than at any point in the pandemic besides the height of the delta wave last summer, when the state reach an all-time high of 3,022 patients.
Public health officials have stressed that vaccinated people, particularly those who have received booster shots, are far less likely to require hospitalizations or face severe illness than those without protection. As of Thursday, 74% of the people hospitalized had not completed a vaccination series.
The state on Friday also reported eight new deaths that were confirmed to have been caused by the coronavirus and two additional deaths that were likely caused by the disease. That brings the weekly total to 65 confirmed deaths, about 48% more than in the week before and nearly three times as many as were reported two weeks ago.
About two thirds of the people who died of the coronavirus in the first week of the year were not fully vaccinated, according to the state Department of Health.
Can’t see the chart below? Click here.
Newly reported cases by day (use menu to display individual parishes)
Can’t see the chart below? Click here.
Newly reported deaths by day (use menu to display individual parishes)
Purchases made via links on our site may earn us an affiliate commission
Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.
News Tips:
Other questions:
Need help?


Article Categories:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *