COVID UPDATE: Louisiana Department of Health discuss delta variant and latest COVID trends

Louisiana News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) -The current numbers are heading toward another possible COVID-19 surge.

According to Dr. Joseph Kanter, Louisiana State Health Officer, delta variants make up 59% of COVID-19 cases in the state.

“It is easily more transmissible,” Kanter said. “The risk of being exposed to Covid, if one goes about their day-to-day activity is higher now, than it was a couple of weeks ago.”

The vaccination rates in the state remain low. Louisiana is fourth to last in the nation for being fully vaccinated against the virus.

The rise in cases also calls for breakthrough cases.

Kanter says around 1,700 people tested positive despite being vaccinated; 27 of those people have died. The average age of “serious” breakthrough cases is 78-year-old.

99% of coronavirus deaths in Louisiana were people who were unvaccinated.

“If one was to contract Covid tomorrow, it would be more than likely the Delta variant,” Kanter said.

Across the state hospitalization for the virus is on the rise. In the capital city, Baton Rouge General has seen a slight uptick. In June the hospital saw four to ten Covid patients. On Thursday the hospital has around nine to 13 patients.

With cases doubling in just one week, another concern is the lack of healthcare workers choosing to get vaccinated.

“They are going to be in contact with more and more patients if these numbers continue to increase. And that puts a risk on their shoulders and their family shoulders,” Kanter said.

Kanter says he expects a larger portion of the population to get a shot once the vaccines are fully approved by the FDA in the coming weeks.

“Now is the time to get vaccinated,” he said. “We have the added vulnerability because of the summertime. I think we will continue to see cases to go up.”

View the virtual briefing in the video player below.

Information on COVID vaccines availability can be found here.

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