BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Louisiana Department of Health reports nearly a thousand new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. 

COVID-19 numbers are spiking in Louisiana, and that is especially true for the Greater Baton Rouge Area.

Ochsner Baton Rouge Region Medical Director Dr. Aldo Russo said, “Yesterday, the number of cases in the Ochsner’s health system went from 50 to about 100.”

Some parishes across the are seeing a 200-300% increase of COVID-19 cases. 

This leaves doctors at Reddy Family Medicine concerned.

Reddy Family Medicine Physician Dr. Nagaratna Reddy said, “Last month and for a couple of months, it was done quite a bit, but this month it is going up quite high. Yesterday, I think we had 10-12 positive patients. Today there are already seven to eight positive cases.”

60% of Louisiana cases are the delta variant.

One factor contributing to these numbers could be this past Fourth of July holiday.

“We saw a lot of gatherings, a lot of people getting together, not social distancing, not wearing a mask, and most importantly not getting the vaccine. That’s what is driving this second, I mean, fourth surge,” said Dr. Russo.

Russo said Louisiana has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. The unvaccinated are the most at-risk for catching the more aggressive delta variant and local doctors are seeing more unvaccinated patients in hospitals.

He explained, “About 50% of people we have in the hospital are under the age of 50 and have never gotten the vaccine.”

As the virus spreads, some are concerned because less than 40% of the state is vaccinated.

“We’re going to overwhelm our health system. We are going to exhaust our workers,” said Russo.

Medical professionals said people must stay vigilant by washing your hands, social distancing, and wearing your mask.

To schedule a vaccination appointment, learn more here.