LDH reports 48 new Omicron variant cases in Louisiana

Staff Report

The Louisiana Department of Health announced 48 additional cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

In a Dec. 15 news release, LDH said none of the new cases have required hospitalization. 

Kristin Grant, a microbiologist on the COVID-19 team at the Washington State Dept. of Health's Public Health Laboratory, loads samples that tested positive for COVID-19 into a machine that prepares them for automated genome sequencing. Data from the sequencing can then help determine which variant of the virus is present.

The new figure brings the total number of Omicron cases in the state to 93.

The first confirmed Omicron case in Louisiana was identified on Dec. 3.

The following is a total breakdown of cases by region:

  • Region 1 (greater New Orleans area): 81 - 71 probable; 10 confirmed
  • Region 2 (Baton Rouge area): three probable
  • Region 4 (Acadiana): one confirmed
  • Region 7 (Northwest): six - two probable; four confirmed
  • Region 9 (Northshore): two - one probable; one confirmed

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 the 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 percent nationwide. Louisiana estimates that the proportion of Omicron among LA variants is 4.3 percent for the week ending Dec. 4.