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COVID cases inch upward

Numbers jump by 24 from Monday to Wednesday this week
Thursday, June 23, 2022
COVID cases inch upward

After three months of almost no movement, confirmed new cases of COVID-19 are increasing again in Lincoln Parish.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the case count jumped by 24 from Monday to Wednesday this week; that follows a 16-case increase over a two-day period last week.

For several weeks in March, April and May, the count didn’t change. Then when it did, the numbers went up only by a couple of cases per day.

That trend continued until earlier this month, when the one or two cases per day grew to three or four. Now the daily average in Lincoln Parish is 7.6 cases, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The number of reinfections, — that is, people who have already had COVID and are getting it again — is also ticking slightly upward in the parish, according to LDH. As of noon Wednesday, 799 reinfections have been logged since tracking begin in late January of this year.

But the current Omicron subvariant that LDH said is causing most of the new illnesses doesn’t seem to be sending people to the hospital.

Northern Louisiana Medical Center has no COVID patients, nor has the facility’s emergency room seen an upswing in COVID patients, NLMC spokesperson Tami Davis said.

Lincoln Parish remains one of 27 parishes still considered a low risk for COVID, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Just over half of Louisiana’s 64 parishes are now in the medium-risk category, including neighboring Ouachita Parish.

Four parishes — Bossier, Caddo, and DeSoto in North Louisiana, and St. James in South Louisiana — are at high community risk for spread.

Those category determinations are made based on number of cases per 100,000 population and number of hospital beds occupied by COVID patients.

Yet regardless of the risk category, the percent of tests coming back positive has gone up in more than half the state, as of the LDH reporting period that ended June 15. In Lincoln Parish, the positivity rate is just over 20%.

That means of the tests done and reported — generally excluding home tests — just over 20% came back positive.

All totaled, Lincoln Parish has recorded 6,273 confirmed COVID cases since the pandemic began in March 2020, with another 5,439 probable cases. Some 119 parish residents have died from the respiratory ailment; another 25 deaths are suspected to have been caused by the coronavirus.