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Tens of thousands reinfected by COVID-19 in Louisiana, new data shows

The LDH said that the Omicron variant is behind the state’s latest surge of the virus - accounting for 97% of cases between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.

NEW ORLEANS — Tens of thousands of people in Louisiana have been reinfected with COVID-19, according to new figures published by the state’s health department on Wednesday.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, there have been at least 35,819 cases of reinfection in the state. Reinfection is defined as another positive test at least 90 days after a previous positive test.

The LDH said that the Omicron variant is behind the state’s latest surge of the virus - accounting for 97% of cases between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1. The other 3% of cases is attributed to the Delta variant which peaked in Aug. 2021.

On Wednesday, the health department reported its highest single-day increase in new cases since the pandemic began: 17,592 new cases. That total breaks the previous record set last week. Louisiana has set new records for single-day increases in cases four times since Dec. 30.

Hospitalizations rose by 95 patients on Tuesday, to a total of 1,999 patients hospitalized with the virus across the state. Of those patients, about 75 percent were not fully vaccinated.

"We owe it to our health care workers and to each other to stop this surge by masking, limiting exposures, and getting our vaccines and boosters," Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

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