Mon, 17 Jan 2022

HOUSTON, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- COVID-19 infections surged by more than 29,000 over the weekend in southern U.S. state of Louisiana where hospitalizations hit a three-month high, according to the data released Monday by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).

About one in five people taking coronavirus tests turned out to be infected, representing a positivity rate of 19 percent, the data showed.

There were 1,794 patients in hospital beds across the costal state, 86 of them on ventilators, according to the data.

Overall, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 soared 62 percent over the last week. The LDH also reported 19 more deaths on Monday, bringing the state's total deaths related to the coronavirus to 15,073.

"We have to work together to stop this surge," the LDH tweeted on Monday afternoon.

"LDH strongly recommends getting vaccinated and boosted if eligible, masking indoors as well as outside when distancing is not possible, and limiting your exposure to those not in your household," the tweet read.

The Omicron variant made up an estimated 90 percent of cases in Louisiana. Though it appeared less virulent than the Delta variant, local hospitals were strained under Omicron's ultra-fast spread, public health officials said.

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