COVID-19 cases surge after Christmas holiday

Posted at 8:39 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 23:00:50-05

The Omicron variant is still fueling the current surge in COVID-19 cases. But, as wonderful as it was to see family members over the Christmas holiday, did gatherings contribute to the surge as well?

Clinics, hospitals, and testing sites are not only seeing a surge in cases, but a rate increase in people wanting to get tested.

Regional Medical Director for Region Four Dr. Tina Stefanski says testing sites are now seeing an increase in positive rates after the holidays.

The Clifton Chenier Center testing site alone tested over 300 people Tuesday and has seen about a 35 percent positivity rate.

“We started to see that increase last week with 15 to 20 percent of people testing positive and today it’s over 30 percent. So we have definitely seen a shift and we started to see that right before Christmas. An increase in the number of people coming in, testing positive,” Stefanski said.

Stefanski also mentioned that the loss of taste and smell aren’t as common of a symptom with the omicron variant, and monoclonal antibody infusion treatment is ineffective against the variant.

“The monoclonal antibodies that we’ve been using for Delta aren’t effective against Omicron and we have to shift to using another product. We only have a couple hundred doses in the state. So there's very limited access for that medication. It’s not available to most people right now so if you do test positive, we don’t have the monoclonal antibodies available. And it’ll probably be a couple weeks before the supply increases enough to meet the demand.”

As the new year approaches, Dr. Stefanski advises everyone to get tested prior to going to large gatherings, and says you could also transmit the virus up to two days without showing symptoms.

“People who can increase our vaccination rates and get their boosters. I think that is going to be our best bet to help preserve our healthcare system,” Stefanski continued. “It’s really not the time for large gatherings, which sounds counter-intuitive when we’re talking about New Years, but that’s the reality."

Now as we have yet another holiday over the weekend, professionals advise everyone to go get tested before congregating in large groups.

The Clifton Chenier Center in Lafayette is open for testing and vaccinations Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. For a list of drive-thru testing sites in Region 4, click here.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram

Subscribe to our Youtube channel