The Louisiana Department of Health says on Friday that it will report a newly identified backlog of COVID-19 tests, in addition to its standard reporting.
Due to 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.
While this will result in a significant increase in reported COVID cases today, the Department says that they will reallocate those 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, according to LDH.
Last Friday, LDH reported a new record - the biggest single-day increase reported since the start of the pandemic in Louisiana. LDH says that 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 says it has identified an increase in percent positivity in 55 of 64 parishes.
Hospitalizations per capita for the state have increased over the last 14 days.
On Wednesday, LDH reported 4 new bar outbreaks with 21 associated cases in the past week. Four new 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. Two deaths among religious service-related outbreak cases have been reported.
LDH says it has identified an increased number of outbreaks and cases associated with small social gatherings - happy hours, game nights and family dinners.
Louisiana residents are reminded to wear a mask, social distance, wash their hands often, and take small gathering outdoors.
Governor John Bel Edwards shared a message on Friday urging Louisianans to take COVID-19 seriously this holiday season. Click here to see that video.
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