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Louisiana's COVID test positivity rate falls, but not by much

The LDH said that 53% of deaths from Jan. 13 to Jan. 19 were not fully vaccinated.

NEW ORLEANS — The percentage of COVID-19 tests returning positive in Louisiana seemingly stalled last week with nearly three of every 10 clinical tests detecting the virus.

According to new figures published by the Louisiana Department of Health on Wednesday, the statewide test positivity rate fell to 27.3% between Jan. 13 - 19. That is down slightly from the 27.5% reported the week prior.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are also somewhat rebounding. Louisiana reported two straight days of increased hospitalizations, bringing the patient count to 2,210. That number is still lower than the 2,367 patients recorded on Jan. 19 as the state shows early signs that the Omicron surge is easing.

Still, a 27% statewide positivity rate is still one of the highest levels seen since the pandemic began in March 2020.

“There’s still a lot of COVID out there. Stay safe. Wear a mask indoors in public,” said Christina Stephens, a spokesperson for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office.

The health department reported 8,719 new cases and 48 new deaths linked to the virus on Wednesday. The LDH said that 53% of deaths from Jan. 13 to Jan. 19 were not fully vaccinated.

Stephens said that 522 people in Louisiana have died from COVID-19 just in January. In total, 15,523 deaths have been linked to COVID in the state since the pandemic began.

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