Infant dies of COVID in Louisiana; state reporting 249 deaths in just 2 days
BATON ROUGE - A small child is among more than 200 Louisianans killed by the coronavirus in the past two days, the state announced Wednesday.
Governor John Bel Edwards said the child was less than a year old and was among 110 deaths reported to the state since Tuesday. Health officials said it's the first time in more than six months a child that young has died from the virus in Louisiana.
In total, 11 children younger than 18 have died from COVID-19 in Louisiana since the start of the pandemic.
“Each COVID-19 death in Louisiana has been heart wrenching, but the loss of such a young child, who could not be vaccinated yet, is tragic and a stark reminder of the difficult circumstance we are in throughout Louisiana. Right now, we are seeing younger people hospitalized. They are getting sicker than in the previous surge and, unfortunately some of them may die. Already, this week, we have confirmed 6,146 COVID cases in children and last week there were 63 pediatric cases of COVID admitted to the hospital. Even children who are not hospitalized or very sick are contagious,” Governor Edwards said in a statement.
Wednesday was the second day in a row that Louisiana reported more than 100 deaths in a single 24-hour period. On Tuesday, the state broke its single-day record for coronavirus deaths with 139 reported.
The sudden rise in coronavirus-linked deaths comes as the state continues to grapple with its fourth major surge of the virus.
Ochsner Health is also addressing the rise in COVID-19 cases among children. On Thursday, hospital officials said there are 17 children under the age of 18 hospitalized across their system.
The average age, officials say, is just over 5 years old. These numbers show an increase from seven hospitalized children at Ochsner in July.
Louisiana is reporting 6,619 new cases of the virus since Tuesday, with a positivity rate of about 13.59 percent in new tests. Hospitalizations dropped slightly to 2,844, though that number is still much higher than it was at any point last year.