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4th Surge: COVID-19 cases are rising in Louisiana

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 7:32 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Governor John Bel Edwards said we’ve lost four months of progress in the COVID-19 fight and he says the Delta variant is nothing to mess with. COVID-19 cases are increasing statewide, including here in Northeast Louisiana.

“Increases are in all regions of our state. So nobody should be out there thinking, ‘well, that’s a problem in another state’ or in another part of our state. This is happening everywhere in Louisiana,” said Governor Edwards.

Statewide, hospitalizations are now at 563. It has doubled in two weeks. The governor said if more people don’t get vaccinated, we’ll just keep repeating the vicious cycle.

“There’s not enough immunity across the state in the various communities that comprise our state to ward off the transmission,” said Edwards.

The new beast driving up the numbers is the Delta variant. Experts said it’s more serious, deadly, and this time your kids are in more danger this time around.

“Delta variant is coming for our children. We are seeing increased admissions, we are seeing increased office visits, we are seeing sick kids and intubated kids today in our hospitals,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal. “When I look through our list every morning, it’s my friends. It’s my peers. They’re 30 and they’re 40 and their kids go to school with my kids and their kids are starting college in three weeks and they’re not going to be alive... It is us. It’s not ‘those people’ who are sicker. It’s us. That’s who’s in the hospital today. And across the street are my friend’s kids.”

O’Neal said we can’t just apply what we learned from COVID last year because the Delta variant is more dangerous. She said it gets in our bodies and hides for a while. To make matters worse, it’s affecting anyone and not just the medically vulnerable. “For the unvaccinated, it’s like letting a burglar cross all the way through your threshold, all the way into your bedroom, and wake you up from sleep before you know it’s there.”

“We only have two choices. We are either going to get vaccinated and end the pandemic, or we are going to accept death. A lot of it, this surge and another surge. And possibly, another variant,” said Dr. O’Neal.

Region 8′s Medical Director, Dr. Jackie White said numbers in Region 8 are lower compared to South Louisiana but said we’re quickly catching up, with 28 hospitalizations and positive cases nearly doubling.

“So that is scary and hopefully, people will take caution to it and listen to it because there is going to come a time if the virus keeps mutating that these vaccines are not going to be as effective,” said White.

Officials urge people to get vaccinated before even more variants pop up.

“If you don’t choose the vaccine, you are choosing death and you are choosing a surge and another surge,” Dr. O’Neal said. “Pandemics last for years. We know that. We’re very educated people. Pandemics last for years. The only thing that will stop them is the vaccination. Which one do you choose?”

Watch Dr. O’Neal’s full warning:

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