NEW ORLEANS — The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is nearing 2,000 patients as the COVID-19 Omicron variant surges through the state.
The Louisiana Department of Health said there were 1,905 patients hospitalized across the state with the disease on Monday, an increase of 111 patients compared to the previous day’s report.
Hospitalizations have risen rapidly in the last four weeks, and the rise shows little sign of slowing down. The state was reporting around 200 hospitalizations with the virus in mid-December.
“Louisiana’s COVID hospitalizations were last this high at the end of July/beginning of August 2021, when the state was in the throes of the Delta surge,” Christina Stephens, a spokesperson for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office said.
Of those 1,905 patients with COVID-19, about 77 percent were unvaccinated.
“To put it another way - the trend we’ve seen during this Omicron surge is that three out of every four people hospitalized with COVID in Louisiana are unvaccinated,” Stephens said. “The vaccines are working, period.”
The rapid spike in hospitalizations is straining the state’s healthcare system. On Monday there were just 12 ICU beds available in the state’s health region three, which includes the bayou and river parishes in southeast Louisiana.
Louisiana is reporting nearly three times more cases daily some days when compared to the Delta surge last year, Stephens said. The LDH reported 12,494 new cases and 29 deaths since Monday’s report. In total, 15,102 people in Louisiana have died since the pandemic began.
New Orleans leaders announced that they would reinstate the city’s indoor mask mandate starting Wednesday morning to try to curb the spread of Omicron.