La. reports 9,930 new COVID cases; Governor urges citizens to modify New Years celebrations
BATON ROUGE - According to The Office of Governor John Bel Edwards as of Friday (December 31) morning, Louisiana has 9,930 new COVID-19 cases.
The state also counts 8 new deaths, 881 COVID-related hospitalizations, and 34 patients on ventilators.
These new figures bring the total of Louisiana's COVID-related deaths to 14,994 and total COVID-19 cases to 838,625.
During a Friday morning interview with WWL Radio, the Governor also mentioned that 76% of those hospitalized in Louisiana with COVID right now are not fully vaccinated.
@LouisianaGov gives today's COVID-19 numbers:— Shauna Sanford (@shaunasanford) December 31, 2021
New cases: 9,930
Total cases: 838,625
Vented patients: 34
New deaths: 8 for a total of 14,994
@LouisianaGov says if you are symptomatic then get tested, but if you can't get a test right away then consider yourself positive and quarantine so that you don't expose others. Testing is not a strategy to engage in high-risk activities.— Shauna Sanford (@shaunasanford) December 31, 2021
The definition of fully vaccinated is still 2 mRNA doses or 1 Johnson and Johnson.— Christina Stephens (@CEStephens) December 31, 2021
Of vaccinated people in the hospital, we’re told by hospital leadership that most are not boosted.
People who are boosted are the least likely to need medical attention if they test positive
According to a December 30 news release issued by Governor Edwards, he and experts with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) are urging people to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home and releasing new recommendations as K-12 students prepare to return to school.
“I’m very sorry that we’re back here,” said Gov. Edwards. “Unfortunately, we don’t get a vote in what this virus does, but we do get a choice on how we respond. As we close out the year, I strongly encourage you to join me in modifying your plans this New Year’s Eve and not gathering with people outside of your immediate household."
As we close out 2021, I strongly encourage you to join me in modifying your plans this New Year’s Eve and not gathering with people outside of your household. This is necessary as we work hard to mitigate the impact of this Omicron-fueled surge. #lagov pic.twitter.com/Fcxe0WL3Qv— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) December 31, 2021
Listed below are updated LDH Guidance and Recommendations
Holidays & general public health recommendations during Omicron surge:
Celebrate at home with members of your everyday household.
Get vaccinated and boosted, if eligible, to protect yourself and others.
Mask regardless of vaccination status. Mask in indoor public places; mask indoors when with people outside your everyday household; and mask outdoors when distancing is not possible.
Limit exposure to those outside your everyday household.
Work remotely if possible.
K-12 return to school recommendations:
-LDH says Omicron spreads easily and very quickly. This variant will cause widespread outbreaks and will likely result in school closures if prevention measures are not strictly followed in these settings.
-Mask universally indoors and outside when socially distancing is not possible. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet during mealtimes when masking is not possible
-Most outbreaks identified in school settings have been associated with extracurricular activities. It is safest to suspend extracurricular activities while the extremely transmissible Omicron variant is circulating at such high levels in throughout our state, i.e., until statewide incidence is below 200 infections per 100,000 people.
-Do not participate in social gatherings with individuals outside your everyday household (e.g., pep rallies, school dances) until statewide incidence is below 200 infections per 100,000 people.
-Get vaccinated and boosted when eligible.
-Children should be tested prior to the return to school.
-At-home antigen tests remain in short supply nationwide and in Louisiana. PCR tests are free, widely available and are more sensitive than antigen tests when it comes to detecting Omicron. Results for PCR tests are available within approximately 24 to 48 hours in most cases.
-It is important to remember that tests are a snapshot in time, and a negative test does not mean you will not test positive later if you were exposed to the virus.
-LDH continues to work to make testing more accessible, and is continuing to add sites across Louisiana ahead of the New Year holiday,
-Do not visit an emergency room to obtain a test. Emergency rooms are for the seriously ill or someone needing immediate medical attention.
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