BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana Department of Health reported 4,413 new cases and 20 new deaths on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases to 536,366 and the total number of deaths statewide to 10,968.
Hospitalizations statewide increased by 96 Thursday and the use of ventilators increased by 18, bringing the total number of hospitalized patients to 1,620 with 162 on ventilators. In Northwest Louisiana, hospital beds and ICU beds are both at 79 percent capacity but hospitalizations only rose by two since Tuesday and the number of people on ventilators actually dropped by three, from 21 to 19.
In Caddo Parish, 155 new cases bring the total over the 29,000-mark to 29,005. As of Thursday, 770 people had died from COVID-19 in the parish. Two new deaths were also reported in the region, with one each in Bossier and Webster Parish. Bossier also reported 76 new cases, De Soto added 18. Natchitoches also saw a significant bump in new cases Thursday, with 42. The parish had been reporting an average of 14 new cases per day over the previous seven days.
The surge in cases and attendant rise in lagging indicators such as hospitalizations and deaths come as vaccine hesitancy persists in the state and in the region, while the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread.
Less than 37 percent of Louisiana’s population is fully vaccinated. Just over 30 percent of the population in Region 7 is vaccinated, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
State leaders and health officials are urging citizens to get the shots. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards released a new PSA promoting COVID-19 vaccination Thursday featuring National Spelling Bee Champion Zaila Avant-garde and the third drawing of the state’s Shot At A Million vaccine incentive lottery is set for Friday.
On Thursday, a District Judge in Baton Rouge ruled some of those being sentenced to probation in his court can get a coronavirus vaccination to reduce their community service requirement.
Judge Fred Crifasi in Baton Rouge says vaccination is not mandated but offered as an option.
“Getting vaccinated is a service to the community,” Crifasi said Thursday in an emailed statement to The Associated Press.
HOW TO GET A COVID VACCINE IN LOUISIANA
Everyone age 12 and older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana. The FDA has only authorized one of the three COVID-19 vaccines – from Pfizer – for children ages 12 to 17. Parents should confirm with the vaccine provider that their child is under 18 to ensure Pfizer vaccine is available before making an appointment.
- COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at 1,437 locations in all of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, including at pharmacies, hospitals, health care clinics and doctor’s offices.
- For a list of locations, visit LDH’s vaccine directory or visit vaccines.gov, which is maintained by the federal government.
- To get a list of vaccine locations near you text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish.
- If you have questions, would like to speak with a medical professional, or need help scheduling an appointment, call 211 or Louisiana’s vaccine hotline at 1-855-453-0774.