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COVID-19 cases trending upward in Louisiana

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - With COVID-19 numbers increasing across the state, could we see another surge?

“We are in a very different place than we were during March and April and May of 2020. We have a highly effective vaccine. We have several treatments. Our health care system right now is handling this pretty well and is stable,” Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh said.

Cavanaugh is the Region 5 medical director for the Louisiana Department of Health. She said our society is now much more equipped to battle COVID-19. However, contracting the virus still comes with risk and cases are increasing statewide once again.

“We do believe that it is the beginning of an additional surge and it’s primarily driven by Omicron,” Cavanaugh said.

She explained the recent increase in cases are a slightly different variation of Omicron than what spiked the winter surge.

“Thankfully it does not seem to be going up as rapidly as we’ve seen in the past --which is good news,” Cavanaugh said.

She told 7News this current trend isn’t near what we saw at heights of the pandemic with current state hospitalizations just over 150.

“That’s substantially less than during some of our previous peaks where we had two-thousand or three-thousand people hospitalized,” Cavanaugh said. “But that is a definite increase from only a few weeks ago when we were at a lull in the 30s.”

With COVID being a respiratory virus, she said those typically peak in the winter months, but she said that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe for the summer.

“It definitely can surge in the summer too because we’ve seen that happen in the past,” Cavanaugh said. “Actually, we’ve had surges last year and the year before kind of around this time of year.”

Cavanaugh adds as Louisiana is in a much better place and has more tools to fight the virus, people should now take this time to get boosted if they are due or they should order their free government at-home testing kits, and for those at high risk to take extra precautions if need be.

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