NEW ORLEANS — Much as 2020 was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 appears to be starting out in much the same way. In Louisiana, more than 5,000 new cases were reported since New Years Eve.
In all, Sunday's coronavirus update from the Louisiana Department of Health showed 5,780 new confirmed cases in 2021, with 49 more people dying from the disease.
Over the course of the pandemic, 7,537 people in Louisiana have died from COVID-19 or complications linked to it.
More than 1,800 people are hospitalized with the virus, rivaling the peak of hospitalization in April, when more than 2,000 were in the hospital. But ventilator use -- used in the first months of the pandemic as an indicator of how close hospitals were to capacity -- has not gone up at the same rate, possibly due to a better understanding of the virus and its treatment options.
But 2021 does appear to have a brighter future than 2020 in regards to COVID-19. With vaccinations starting throughout the country, including Louisiana, many experts are projecting fewer restrictions in the back half of the year.
While supplies of the two available vaccines are currently limited in the U.S., the incoming Biden administration says they hope to ramp up distribution within his first 100 days in office.