BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is reporting 31 additional cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, three of which are in Acadiana.
None of these new cases have required hospitalization.
This brings the total number of Omicron cases in our state to 124. The first confirmed Omicron case in Louisiana was identified on December 3. The following is a total breakdown of cases by region:
- Region 1 (Greater New Orleans Area): 94 – 56 probable; 38 confirmed
- Region 2 (Baton Rouge Area): 14- 11 probable; 3 confirmed
- Region 3 (South Central): 1 confirmed
- Region 4 (Acadiana): 3- 2 probable; 1 confirmed
- Region 5 (Southwest): 1 probable
- Region 6 (Central): 1 probable
- Region 7 (Northwest): 6 – 1 probable; 5 confirmed
- Region 9 (Northshore): 4 – 2 probable; 2 confirmed
LDH says that not all cases of Omicron can be identified, which means that there are many more cases of Omicron occurring in Louisiana than are reflected in our case counts. Within our state, Omicron outbreaks have been identified in universities, and cases have been identified in high-risk settings such as K-12 schools and nursing homes.
CDC estimates that the proportion of Omicron among circulating variants is currently 2.9% nationwide. Louisiana estimates that the proportion of Omicron among La. variants is 4.3% for the week ending December 4 (please note that these data are preliminary as more sequences for that time period will continue to be uploaded). It is expected that transmission of Omicron will increase.
“We feel very confident in saying that Omicron is now circulating throughout our state, and that the proportion of cases attributable to Omicron is likely to increase dramatically over the next few weeks,” said State Epidemiologist Theresa Sokol.
The following prevention tools are especially important as we continue to monitor the Omicron variant in Louisiana:
- Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging.COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death. Emerging data demonstrate that booster doses are particularly important for preventing infection with Omicron.
- Masks offer protection against all variants.
- Testing for COVID-19 prior to travel or gathering with individuals outside one’s immediate household is also important for preventing transmission and protecting loved ones this holiday season.