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About 100 new patients hospitalized with COVID-19: delta variant increasing case numbers

BATON ROUGE - A new warning came from state health officials as a stubborn strain of the coronavirus causes a spike in hospitalizations.

The state is ramping up its vaccination efforts as the Delta Variant sweeps through Louisiana. It's putting more people in the hospital since the state got a hold on COVID-19 earlier this year.

As more people get vaccinated and fewer people wear masks, many are hopeful that the pandemic is going away. Now, the Delta Variant is the most dominant strain in the U.S., and it's growing in Louisiana too. State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter says after a few months of relatively quiet COVID numbers, there are now increases. It's the first time since the vaccine rollout that it's happened.

"We have increases in incidents, which is the number of new cases of COVID diagnosed each new day," Kanter said. "It's now been increasing statewide for the past 18 days, an increase in seven of nine regions throughout the state."

Kanter says positivity rate is now at 4%, up from 3.1% just the week prior. Most troubling to the state is the increase in hospitalizations. There have been about 100 new hospitalized patients in the last two weeks, making it clear that COVID is increasing. Kanter says it's because of the Delta Variant.

"It also seems to have an ability to infect younger individuals at a higher rate than other variants did," Kanter said. "We are seeing the average age of hospitalized patients go down and we're seeing more younger people get sick."

For the last month, delta variant cases have been doubling nationwide every two to three weeks. The good news is that Kanter says the current three vaccines out there are working against it.

In terms of breakthrough infections, 1,763 fully vaccinated people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 103 of them have been hospitalized. Of those fully vaccinated people, 27 of them have died from their breakthrough infection.

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