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Baton Rouge hospitals note that it's been one year since La's first COVID case

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BATON ROUGE - It's been nearly a year since the first Louisiana resident was diagnosed with COVID-19 in New Orleans and since then, the state has lost a total of 9,758 lives to the oft-deadly virus. 

A year later, as COVID-fighting vaccines are in the process of being administered to Louisiana's citizens in waves, hospitalization numbers appear to be on a downward trend. In addition to these promising local statistics, on Monday (March 8), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that fully-vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing. 

While these positive factors trigger a sense of hope and expectation that life may soon return to something of a more normal nature, a number of Baton Rouge healthcare professionals who have first hand experience in working with COVID-19 patients warn that as we continue to ride out the pandemic, caution is still a must. 

Dr. Stephen Brierre of Baton Rouge General Medical Center touched on this during a recent virtual interview with WBRZ, saying, "Here at Baton Rouge General, there are still 16 active coronavirus patients in our ICU's right now, and in the past week we've admitted one person each day to the ICU. I don't think we need to let our guard down. I understand the fatigue of the community with this. I experienced a similar fatigue with this, but now is not the time to stop." 

It's been a harrowing 12 months for the hospital, since they admitted the first COVID-19 patient on March 17.

By late April, Baton Rouge General's Mid City and Bluebonnet locations were housing a total of 169 patients who'd been diagnosed with the virus.

In the months to follow until now, hospital staff have pulled together to work non-stop in treating patients with COVID-19.

They are understandably tired, but they refuse to give up. And, now that a seemingly successful vaccine is being administered to the community, renewed hope propels each worker forward in the continued fight against COVID.

Click here for the latest on Baton Rouge General's treatment of COVID-19, and other pandemic related information from the hospital. 

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