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Louisiana reports 'shockingly high' 7,592 new COVID-19 cases

The trend isn't positive for the state, which is on the upswing of a fourth wave of coronavirus cases.

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana saw a jump of more than 7,500 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, according to new data released Monday by the Louisiana Department of Health. 

The state reported 7,592 new cases and 14 new deaths since Friday numbers were released.

Numbers released Monday include data from several days over the weekend, meaning they are higher than most days. Still, the trend isn't positive for the state, which is on the upswing of a fourth wave of coronavirus cases. 

"That's a total from several days because of the weekend, but it's still shockingly high," Christina Stephens, a spokesperson for Gov. John Bel Edwards' office said.

"Our new case count today in Louisiana is eight times what it was four weeks ago," she added.

Mask advisories have been issued both for New Orleans and the state as a whole, although political leaders are hesitating to bring back the restrictions seen in 2020, which forced businesses to shutter and prevented most gatherings. 

More than 200 people were hospitalized with coronavirus over the weekend, with 1,221 hospitalized as of the latest count. 

The fastest-rising demographic for COVID-19 cases is the younger crowd, according to LDH data. The data indicates 18 to 29-year-olds have seen a sharp uptick in reported cases in recent weeks, far surpassing any other group. 

Teens and children are also feeling the virus' effects. Cases among children aged 5-17 have begun swinging up faster than older demographics, as anybody under 12 is still currently ineligible for any of the available COVID-19 vaccines. 

About 36% of the state is fully vaccinated, according to the state's data. That puts Louisiana near the bottom of the country in vaccination efforts, despite repeated pleas from local leaders and health officials. 

If case numbers and hospitalizations continue to outpace vaccinations, Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell have both indicated they may be open to bringing back some of the stronger restrictions seen in the first year of the pandemic. 

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