Kanter: Louisiana is experiencing its 6th COVID surge

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Health officials say Louisiana is experiencing its sixth surge of COVID. State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter said even though the dashboard Tuesday indicated close to 2,962 new cases he said the number is misleading because home tests are not required to be reported to the department.

“And thankfully as compared to prior surges, on average people are not getting very sick with this variety of COVID that’s being spread right now,” said Kanter.

The positivity rate of tests reported to the state has increased from 13.3% to 13.6% in the past week.

Kanter said this surge though is much different from others. In the past when cases increase it would be followed by an uptick in COVID hospitalizations and deaths, but the current surge appears to show a decoupling of that equation.

“In prior surges, this amount of COVID out there would translate into a much larger degree of hospitalizations and deaths. We’re thankfully not seeing that this time around,” said Kanter.

Kanter said the current surge compared to previous ones is showing only a slight increase in COVID deaths.

“Now granted this is a relatively a lagging measure but still with the amount of hospitalizations that we have, we have a very small blip right now,” said Kanter.

Health officials say of those hospitalized with COVID, 63% are not fully vaccinated, and 87% have not been vaccinated nor boosted.