The state of Louisiana posted a single-day positivity rate of lower than 10% today for the first time in several days - a sign that hopefully shows the state is past its post-holiday spike in the third COVID wave.

Louisiana reports 4,673 new COVID cases today, bringing the state's confirmed virus totals to 315,582 since the start of the pandemic.

The Louisiana % positive today is 8.2% with 4,673 positive cases and 56,902 processed tests. 

A one-day percent positive of 8.2% is higher than state medical experts would like - ideally a rate below 5% is the goal. But an 8.2% positive rate is also far lower than the rates of the past 7-10 days, which have routinely exceeded 10%, and sometimes have even soared beyond 15%. 

The state reports 53 COVID deaths today, bringing Louisiana confirmed virus totals to 7,536 since the start of the pandemic. 

For Lafourche, there are 67 new COVID cases today, bringing parish confirmed COVID cases to 5,794. 

The parish's % positive rate today is 8.4% with 67 new COVID cases and 792 processed tests - almost on par with the state. 

Lafourche has 158 confirmed COVID deaths since the start of the pandemic in March.

The best news of total's update comes in vaccinations. 

The pace of COVID vaccinations have rapidly risen in the past several days now that state pharmacies have received doses of the vaccine to issue to the elderly. 

In the past 4 days, 78,113 patients have received COVID vaccines, now bringing Louisiana's total COVID vaccinations to 138,046 people. 

As medical professionals receive their final doses of the vaccine in the coming days, more elderly will receive their first injections.

After that process takes place, the vaccine will be slowly offered to more and more people within the general public.

But there is still a lot of work to be done in the weeks ahead while vaccinations are given.

The state reports 2,035 COVID hospitalizations today, up from 1,982 COVID hospitalizations reported yesterday.

Virus hospitalizations have continually risen in the past several weeks as the spread of the virus has become more widespread in our communities.

At 2,035 COVID hospitalizations, we are beyond our peak totals for both the first and second waves of the pandemic. 

The state also reports 244 COVID patients on ventilators today, up from 232 yesterday. 

In Region 3, COVID hospitalizations rose from 110 to 113, but patients on ventilators with the virus dropped from 10 to 9. 

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