LP Testing Site

A medical professional administers a test for the novel coronavirus, or COVID, at a new testing site at Our Lady of the Lake in Walker.

Livingston Parish reported its highest-single total of new cases of the novel coronavirus to date on Tuesday, adding 61 new cases to its overall tally.

That’s the most new cases in a single day since the parish reported 50 on May 14, a day the state experienced a large case jump due to “new labs” coming online, with many of those results several weeks old.

The parish reported 65 new cases on June 19, but those results spanned two days after the Louisiana Department of Health took a day off from updating its daily dashboard to implement a new inputing process and make sure new cases were, indeed, new.

As of Tuesday, the case count in Livingston Parish stands at 751.

The first case was confirmed on March 19, and since then, 36 locals have died as a result of COVID-19.

Like the rest of the state, cases have been on the rise in Livingston Parish over the last 10 days. Since June 14, the parish has confirmed 226 positive results, or 22.6 a day. In the previous 87 days, the parish reported 525 total cases, or just over six new cases per day.

And the increase isn’t just the result of increased testing, either, as a greater percentage of tests are coming back positive.

Through June 13, Livingston Parish conducted 8,144 COVID-19 tests for a positivity rate of 6 percent, better than the Center of Disease Control’s goal of 10 percent.

From June 14-23, the positivity rate has risen to 10.4 percent off of 2,164 tests.

But Livingston Parish isn’t alone in rising cases: As a whole, Louisiana on Tuesday reported its most new COVID-19 cases in a single day since early April when it was under a stay-at-home order, adding 1,356 to the overall tally. 

According to graphics used by Dr. Alex Billioux of the Office of Public Health, seven of the nine LDH regions showed signs of increasing over the two-week ending June 22. That includes Region 9, which consists of Livingston, Tangipahoa, Washington, St. Helana, and St. Tammany parishes.

A rise in cases is one of the reasons Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Monday that Louisiana would not be entering Phase Three when the current order expires on June 26. Instead, the state will remain in Phase Two for an additional 28 days.

As of Monday, Louisiana ranked No. 7 among 23 states currently seeing rises in new COVID-19 cases, and this has been paired with a recent rise in hospitalizations. Since June 13, hospitalizations across the state have risen by 104 and increased in six of the last eight days. 

Edwards said his team would do “a deep data dive” in two weeks to see if additional restrictions are necessary.

“We don’t want to have to go back and reimpose restrictions we’ve loosened, but obviously we will do that before we jeopardize our ability to deliver healthcare in hospitals,” Edwards said.

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