Monday's COVID update from the Louisiana Department of Health comes with a small increase in state virus hospitalizations.

The state reports 1,982 COVID hospitalizations today, up from 1,960 reported yesterday.

Our COVID hospitalizations have been on the rise since October, and our current hospitalization levels are among some of the worst that we've seen in our pandemic with some regions of the state having extreme shortages in ICU bedding. 

The state also reports 232 COVID patients on ventilators today, up from 225 yesterday. That number, too, continues to rise.

In our region, Region 3, there are 110 COVID hospitalizations today, up from 101 yesterday. Since December 27, our region's COVID hospitalizations have more than doubled from 50 on that day to 110 today. 

Patients on ventilators in the region have dropped from 11 to 10 in the past 24 hours.

Hospitalization numbers rise hand-in-hand with the prevalence of spread of COVID in our communities, and stats show there is still plenty of virus in Louisiana. 

The state reports 1,402 COVID cases today, bringing Louisiana's confirmed COVID case count to 312,290 since the start of the pandemic.

The state's % positive rate today is 10.5% with 1,402 new cases and 13,254 processed tests. 

Medical experts say that a sub-5% positivity rate is a benchmark for a community and area to try and achieve. The state had that number for a lot of the early autumn before rates rose rapidly in the third wave. A 10.5% positive rate is on par with our recent numbers, if not maybe even a little lower. Last week, Louisiana posted a one-day positivity rate of 18.1%, the single highest day of positivity since the inception of the pandemic. 

The state reports 45 new COVID deaths today, bringing the confirmed virus death total to 7,489 since the start of the pandemic.

In Lafourche, there were 17 new virus cases reported yesterday, bringing the parish's confirmed total to 5,727 since the start of the pandemic. 

Parish positivity remains stronger than state.

Lafourche's positivity rate today is 3.1% with 17 new COVID cases and 547 processed tests. 

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