Ascension Parish's COVID cases up 365.1%; Louisiana cases surge 294.9%

Mike Stucka
USA TODAY NETWORK

New coronavirus cases leaped in Louisiana in the week ending Sunday, rising 294.9% as 38,322 cases were reported. The previous week had 9,705 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Louisiana ranked 15th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week coronavirus cases in the United States increased 104% from the week before, with 2,833,203 cases reported. With 1.4% of the country's population, Louisiana had 1.35% of the country's cases in the last week. Across the country, 49 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Christmas and New Year's significantly disrupted who got tested, how many people got tested, what labs operated and what government agencies reported on time. Some of the Christmas weekend reports were shifted into the latest week. Most states reported no cases at all the weekend of New Year's, which will bump those reports into the following week. Consequently, week-to-week comparisons will be skewed and these numbers will be unreliable even as they're accurate to what states reported.

Ascension Parish reported 1,065 cases and zero deaths in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 229 cases and one death. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 23,642 cases and 250 deaths.

Within Louisiana, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Orleans Parish with 1,320 cases per 100,000 per week; Caddo Parish with 1,221; and Jefferson Parish with 1,210. The Centers for Disease Control says high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week.

Adding the most new cases overall were Jefferson Parish, with 5,232 cases; Orleans Parish, with 5,149 cases; and East Baton Rouge Parish, with 4,080. Weekly case counts rose in 64 parishes from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Jefferson, East Baton Rouge and Orleans parishes.

>> See how your community has fared with recent coronavirus cases

Louisiana ranked 47th among states in share of people receiving at least one shot, with 57.4% of its residents at least partially vaccinated. The national rate is 73.3%, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data shows. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are the most used in the United States, require two doses administered a few weeks apart.

In the week ending Thursday, Louisiana reported administering another 77,118 vaccine doses, including 16,859 first doses. In the previous week, the state administered 95,663 vaccine doses, including 18,935 first doses. In all, Louisiana reported it has administered 5,633,478 total doses.

In Louisiana, 33 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 29 people were reported dead.

A total of 828,695 people in Louisiana have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 14,986 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 55,114,057 people have tested positive and 826,060 people have died.

>> Track coronavirus cases across the United States

Louisiana's COVID-19 hospital admissions rising

USA TODAY analyzed federal hospital data as of Sunday, Jan. 2.

Likely COVID patients admitted in the state:

  • Last week: 1,510
  • The week before that: 702
  • Four weeks ago: 298

Likely COVID patients admitted in the nation:

  • Last week: 146,041
  • The week before that: 99,270
  • Four weeks ago: 86,518

 

Hospitals in 42 states reported more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, while hospitals in 32 states had more COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds. Hospitals in 48 states admitted more COVID-19 patients in the latest week than a week prior, the USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Health and Human Services data shows.

The USA TODAY Network is publishing localized versions of this story on its news sites across the country, generated with data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control. If you have questions about the data or the story, contact Mike Stucka at mstucka@gannett.com.

Residents line up inside Braintree Town Hall during a COVID-19 booster shot clinic in the Massachusetts community Dec. 6.