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Parish cases at all-time low

Sunday, March 13, 2022
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As the second anniversary of Lincoln Parish’s first confirmed cases of COVID-19 nears, new local cases of the potentially deadly respiratory virus have come almost to a halt.

The parish has added only five cases so far this month, according to Louisiana Department of Health tallies. That’s the smallest number over a comparable time period for the entire pandemic. The parish recorded its first COVID cases on March 22, 2020.

Since then, 6,154 coronavirus cases have been confirmed among parish residents and another 5,294 cases suspected, LDH reported Friday.

Northern Louisiana Medical Center had no hospitalized COVID patients as of Friday and had seen only 22 patients come through the emergency room last week to be tested of COVID, NLMC spokesperson Tami Davis said.

“We have had no admissions do to COVID in the past week,” she said. “Compared to this time last year we are seeing a dramatic drop in COVID patients coming through the ER and being admitted to the hospital.”

For the first time in months, Lincoln Parish is off LDH’s list of high-risk parishes for community spread. It’s now in the second category, that of substantial risk.

Likewise, the parish’s positivity rates has seen a dramatic two-week drop from 6.6% for the reporting period that ended Feb. 22, to .7 % for the period that ended March 1.

However, the COVID death toll is rising at about the same pace it has since the first parish deaths were recorded April 13, 2020.

Confirmed deaths jumped to 111 on Friday, up by two for the month. Another 27 people are suspected to have succumbed to COVID. That number is also up by two so far this month.

Meantime Louisiana’s current public health emergency declaration expires Thursday. Gov. John Bel Edwards has said he might let it expire, meaning for the first time since 2020 Louisiana would not be under some version of emergency rules.

Edwards is expected to discuss the pandemic and how Louisiana will move forward during his State of the State address Monday at the start of the regular legislative session.