Watch: Ochsner health leaders discuss COVID-19 fourth surge response


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On Thursday morning, Ochsner health leaders held a media briefing to provide a COVID-19 update and provide the latest data.

The health system reporting 890 hospitalized patients across the Ochsner Health System. They state that’s a 73% increase in new COVID cases in just over one week. Ninety-percent of those hospitalized patients are unvaccinated.

Ochsner Health leaders say this steady climb in cases is putting a strain on their emergency departments and urgent cares, and due to lack of staff and available beds, other procedures such as cancer surgeries or kidney transplants are being put on hold.

Ochsner Health leaders urge the public to get vaccinated even if they have had COVID. They say they are seeing the virus affect a variety of age groups.

“We also are seeing, where it was rare to see twenty, thirty or forty-year-olds in the hospital hospitalized with COVID. We are seeing more and more twenty, thirty, forty-year-olds hospitalized with COVID illness, and those are the groups that have lower rates of vaccination. So, the illness and the vaccinations go hand in hand,” explained Sandra A. Kemmerly, MD System Medical Director for Hospital Quality and Infectious Disease Specialist.

Ochsner has administered over 491,022 doses of the vaccine and counting.

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