With only 36.8% of Louisiana’s population fully vaccinated, the state saw the country’s highest case rate per 100,000 people over the past week at 573.3 cases, federal health shows. The state’s seven-day death rate per 100,000 people is 1.7, the third-highest in the nation, with Nevada being the highest and Arkansas in second, according to the federal data published Friday. As for the EMS, Cantrell said, “We currently do not have the capacity to respond to 911 calls that come from our community right now.” The rise in cases has pushed Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards to seriously consider a mask mandate.
More than 71% of New Orleans city employees are vaccinated, but that is not good enough, Cantrell said. The mayor’s mask mandate is effective immediately and applies to indoor settings and large outdoor crowds. The mayor is also requiring all city employees to get vaccinated.
“You really need that mask on, period — whether you are vaccinated and, of course, if you are unvaccinated,” she said. “This is a very dangerous number,” she said. “Our children are dying. From two weeks old to two years old to four years old. You cannot make it up. Our children are dying.”
The variant spreads quicker and more easily than the first coronavirus strain and can infect fully vaccinated people whose symptoms are usually milder. And with lagging vaccination numbers, children are bearing the brunt of new cases. The variant has been spreading throughout the country, alarming health officials. Safety restrictions and mask guidances are making a return as cases rose by at least 10% in nearly every US state in the last week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
“Right now at least 83.7% of all the Covid cases in our region is a result of the Delta variant, and so anyone who is Covid positive in Louisiana should assume that it is from the Delta variant, and ultimately you have to take the same precautions, regardless,” he said. “The Delta variant is a game-changer, and at this point, it’s not whether we vaccinate or mask, we have to do both,” Edwards said Friday at a news conference.
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