Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter released statements on Louisiana surpassing 1 million reported COVID infections. The Louisiana Department of Health reported 29,125 new cases Tuesday since January 14, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,025,748.

“Today, Louisiana reaches another sobering milestone, with our state officially reporting more than one million cases of COVID since the start of the pandemic in 2020. And, we know that because cases are underreported, in reality many more people in Louisiana have had COVID at some point in the past 22 months. And, while we are looking for early signs that this current Omicron surge is letting up, we still have far too many sick people in our state and far too many people in our hospitals with COVID. Most tragically, 15,195 Louisianans have died of this illness, which we know is now largely preventable,” Gov. Edwards said. “We have many shining lights in the darkness of this pandemic – our health care heroes who fight on the front lines each day to save lives, our teachers who are working to help our children learn under difficult circumstances, our essential workers who are keeping our economy going. But the brightest light we have are the safe and effective COVID vaccines, which are free and widely available across Louisiana to everyone five years of age and older. We know that these vaccines prevent most severe illness, hospitalization and death. It is my fervent hope and prayer each day that more Louisianans will take their vaccines and their COVID boosters and wear their masks while we are in this Omicron surge, so that we can put this pandemic in our rear view.”

"While thankfully Omicron is on average less likely to put you in the hospital than other variants, that is just an average," said Dr. Kanter. "It is still possible to get very sick from COVID-19 as the large number of people currently hospitalized in Louisiana show us. The best possible protection against being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19 is getting vaccinated and boosted as soon as you are eligible."