Gov. Edwards addresses state’s fourth COVID-19 surge; points out benefits of monoclonal antibody infusion

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 9:46 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2021 at 2:47 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards held a news conference on Friday, August 20, about Louisiana’s continued fourth surge of COVID-19.

There was a bit of good news. For the second straight day, Louisiana did not set a new record of patients in the hospital. However, the health care delivery system in the state continues to be stressed, according to the governor.

Edwards also talked about monoclonal antibody infusion. He pointed out the treatment helps preserve hospital capacity because it can help prevent a patient from having to be hospitalized if received shortly after contracting COVID. He said officials are focused on getting the treatment in as many hospitals as possible but they want to keep people from getting COVID in the first place.

RELATED: Antibody infusion treatment shows promise in fight against COVID

There was lots of emphasis on the fact that younger people are getting COVID and the 18 to 29 age group is leading the way.

Louisiana COVID-19 cases by age group as of Aug. 20, 2021.
Louisiana COVID-19 cases by age group as of Aug. 20, 2021.(Louisiana Department of Health)

Dr. Joseph Kanter stated there has been a 300% increase in new COVID cases in the state in the past month. As far as deaths from COVID, Kanter said real families are suffering.

Percentage of increases in Louisiana's COVID cases.
Percentage of increases in Louisiana's COVID cases.(Office of Louisiana Governor)

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, Aug. 18, the state passed a grim pandemic milestone when the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) reported more than 3,000 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19.

By Friday, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had decreased to 2,999 statewide. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilators increased this week but also decreased by the end of the week. 470 patients were on mechanical ventilators as of Friday.

The governor’s comments came just two days after Wednesday’s Louisiana Board of Education and Secondary Education (BESE) meeting was adjourned early after a crowd of angry, unmasked parents refused to comply with the board member’s request to wear a mask.

The same day, U.S. health officials called for all Americans to receive booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine to help increase the population’s protection against the virus amid the surging delta variant and signs that the vaccines’ effectiveness is slipping.

Top health officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are calling for people to receive an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine eight months after getting their second shot.

Health authorities believe those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will likely require an extra shot but more data is needed.

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