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COVID-19: Acadiana case decline slows as region holds near 120 new cases a day

Andrew Capps
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Acadiana’s recent trend of declining growth in COVID-19 cases slowed this week as the region’s rate of new cases held just under last week’s rate of 120 a day. 

Since third wave COVID-19 cases peaked in early January at 417 a day in the eight-parish region, Acadiana’s average weekly rate of new cases per day has steadily dropped following a high plateau. 

Last week, the region saw new COVID-19 cases fall more than 40% from the week before, as Acadiana went from an average of 205 new cases a day down to 120 in the first week of February. But since Sunday the region has recorded 592 new cases of COVID-19, an average of 118 a day, just under last week’s rate of spread. 

That brings the region to 1,735 new cases in the past three weeks, or 3.4% of the 51,576 cases of COVID-19 reported in Acadiana since the pandemic reached the region nearly a year ago. 

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As the region’s decline in cases leveled off this week, hospitalizations in Acadiana continued to fall after a major drop in hospitalized COVID-19 patients last week. 

As of Thursday, Acadiana had 99 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, down from 115 a week ago and 136 the week before, though those figures do not include St. Mary Parish. 

COVID-19 vaccinations continue to increase in Acadiana, though the region still lags behind most of the rest of the state, with only the Lake Charles area doing worse than Acadiana in per capita vaccinations as of Thursday. 

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This week Acadiana’s vaccination rate increased to 8.4%, up from 6.8% the week before, but behind the state’s larger metro areas like New Orleans (11.5%), Baton Rouge (9.5%) and Shreveport (10.7%). 

Only Lake Charles is behind Acadiana in vaccination rates for COVID-19, with just 6.9% of that region’s population having gotten at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. As of Thursday, more than 50,000 vaccinations regimens had been initiated in Acadiana, though that excludes St. Mary Parish. 

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As cases have leveled out in Acadiana, deaths from COVID-19 have also flattened, with the region averaging three deaths a day this week and last week. Since Sunday, the region has reported 14 new COVID-related fatalities, putting the eight-parish region at 1,118 total lives lost to COVID-19 in the nearly 11 months since the pandemic claimed its first life in the region last March.

Follow Andrew Capps on Twitter or send an email to acapps@theadvertiser.com.