CDC added 16 more places to its list of “very high” Covid-19 travel risks

Notre-Dame-du-Lac CNN Regional Medical Center

The intensive care unit at Louisiana’s largest hospital is on high demand with Covid-19 patients while others with symptoms waited for a bed on Monday, an official said.

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Catherine O’Neal said there were 23 names on the list of those waiting for a spot to open in the intensive care unit.

“You have people with chest pain sitting in an emergency room right now while their families are sitting in the waiting room, and they’re wringing their hands, and calling everyone they know.” , to enter an intensive care unit, O’Neal said at a press conference. press briefing Monday.

Just over two weeks ago, Baton Rouge hospital had 36 patients with Covid-19, O’Neal said. That number is now 155.

“No diagnosis should occupy a quarter of your hospital,” O’Neal said. “We no longer think we are giving adequate care to anyone because these are the darkest days of the pandemic. “

O’Neal said the best way to slow the spread of Covid-19 is with vaccination, but it’s not happening fast enough, so people should wear masks as well.

Louisiana is one of five states – along with Florida, Texas, California and Missouri – that account for nearly half of the new cases reported last week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. As the more transmissible Delta variant spreads and cases increase, hospitals are filling again with Covid-19 patients across the country. In many cases, patients are younger and sicker than before, according to doctors.

The seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases increased by more than 40% from the previous week, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr Rochelle Walensky said on Monday.

“While we desperately want to end this pandemic, Covid-19 is clearly not done with us. And so our battle has to last a little longer, ”said Walensky.

With vaccination rates on the rise but still below what they need to be to slow or stop the spread of the virus, many local leaders are turning to masks to protect their populations.

The CDC updated its guidelines last week, even advising fully vaccinated people to mask themselves in areas with high or high transmission.

This guidance covers more than 90% of the U.S. population – roughly 300 million people, according to a CNN analysis of the data released by the CDC on Monday.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has temporarily reinstated the state’s mask mandate for all people ages 5 and older, vaccinated and unvaccinated, when indoors and in public. The mandate comes into effect Wednesday.

“No one should mistakenly believe this is just another push. We’ve had three already, it’s the worst we’ve had so far, ”said Edwards.

State health official Dr Joseph Kanter said he expected Louisiana to reach its highest number of Covid-19 hospital patients on Tuesday at any time during the pandemic.

“If we’re going to prioritize things that are important to us, like keeping our kids in school and in person, and keeping our economy growing by keeping businesses open, masking is the best way to go. make sure. So please take this masking order seriously, both in your personal life and in your professional life, ”Kanter said.


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