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NEW ORLEANS- The Louisiana Department of Health is reporting a large number of new coronavirus cases but, many of them are from a testing backlog.

About 5,300 new cases were reported Thursday, January 14, 2021, but, the State says, 2,000 thousand of those are from backlogs. Also, 53 new deaths were reported bringing the death toll to more than 8,000

Nationwide, we’re seeing another surge in deaths. Yesterday alone 4,096 people died, which is why a local doctor fears people are letting their guards down now that there’s a vaccine out.

“It is riskier now to go out and be around people than it was in the past. Just because we have a vaccine coming, most of us still have not had access to vaccines yet. Right, most people who have gotten the vaccine are over 75. Maybe by the third quarter of this year we will be at a much better place but, as of right now this is the riskiest time to go out without a mask,” explained Dr. Thomas LaVeist, Dean of Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Even though the two vaccines are out, doctors are trying to prevent hot spots across the country.
Dr. Laveist also said that we’ll probably experience this surge for a few more weeks.

As a reminder as we go into a long holiday weekend, New Orleans is still under modified phase one restrictions for another week and a half at least to prevent the spread.