Louisiana Hospitals Pleading for Help as COVID Cases Spike
Fifty hospitals across Louisiana have officially reached out to state officials to formally request state assistance in battling the rising COVID-19 case counts brought on by the extremely contagious Delta variant of the disease. Those hospitals that have reached out to State Health Officer Joe Kanter's Office say they need additional workers to help deal with the unprecedented influx of patients.
According to Dr. Kanter administrators, those healthcare facilities have told state officials that they can no longer adequately provide care in their facilities because of the state's sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. It has been estimated that about 1% of the state's population has been infected with the disease over the past two weeks.
The latest update from the Department of Health showed that Louisiana's COVID case count jumped by 6,116 as of August 6th. Those new cases brought the state's total number of cases to 573,903. Louisiana also reported an additional 48 deaths attributed to coronavirus. That number brings the state's death toll from the disease to 11,210.
Many healthcare providers have expressed frustration that the Louisiana vaccination rate remains one of the lowest in the nation. Although, the past few weeks have seen a major spike in residents choosing to get vaccinated. The Louisiana Department of Health data showed that not fully vaccinated residents accounted for 90% of COVID cases in the state and 84% of deaths that occurred in the state between July 22 and July 28 of this year.
While many continue to debate issues like vaccine requirements and mask mandates our state's hospitals are bearing the brunt of the hesitancy to take action. Dr. Kanter says none of the facilities that have requested state assistance have had to begin rationing care but the extreme rise in COVID cases is affecting care.
Emergency room waiting times are very long and those suffering minor symptoms or only needing a COVID test are being asked to seek treatment at a non-emergency care facility. This is especially true if your need for medical treatment is not COVID-related.
Dr. Kanter says the state is responding to the assistance requests but he did tell the Louisiana Radio Network that there is no "magical supply" of respiratory therapists, nurses, and doctors, available at this time.
We encourage you to visit with your family healthcare provider and get the facts on the COVID-19 vaccinations and determine if they are right for you and your family.