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Baton Rouge General reports influx of COVID patients this week as hospitalizations surge statewide

2 days 9 hours 9 minutes ago Wednesday, July 21 2021 Jul 21, 2021 July 21, 2021 11:40 AM July 21, 2021 in Coronavirus
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Local health workers are reporting a new spike in coronavirus-related hospitalizations as Louisiana sees a new surge in cases spurred by infections in unvaccinated patients. 

Baton Rouge General said Wednesday that its number of patients hospitalized with the virus leapt to 54, up from 33 on Monday. 

The staggering two-day increase comes as the rest of the state reports increases in new cases and hospitalizations. On July 16, Louisiana reported the number of COVID patients in hospitals was up to 563, more than doubling since July 1.

As of Wednesday, July 21, that statewide number surged even higher to 844. It's the most COVID patients the state has reported in the hospital since mid-February. 

Louisiana hospital data shows a new surge in patients beginning in early July 2021

At Baton Rouge General, staff says 95 percent of the new patients this week were unvaccinated. It's a microcosm of another trend the governor warned of last week. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, 97 percent of new COVID cases and hospitalizations reported since February were found in patients who weren't fully vaccinated. 

Aside from Louisiana's low vaccination rate, which is a little over 36 percent as of Wednesday, health experts have also attributed the surge in cases to the highly infectious variants of the virus.

"Delta variant is a different virus from last year" Dr. Catherine O'Neal with Our Lady of the Lake said during a state news conference last week. "We cannot take what we think we learned from last year's virus and apply it to this summer, because it's killing us."

In Louisiana's most recent coronavirus data update Wednesday, the state reported more than 5,000 new cases. The state's positivity rate for COVID tests that day alone is over 16 percent. The state was sustaining a positivity rate below five percent when officials lifted the mask mandate in April. 

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