(KLFY)- Dr. Catherine O’Neal, chief medical director at Our Lady of the Lake says the Delta variant is now the dominant strain in Louisiana.
“It hides for a little while inside our body. It is sneaky and it’s a beast. It is killing us,” O’Neal explains.
Health officials say it’s responsible for a rapid increase in cases and hospitalizations.
O’Neal continues, “We are seeing increase in admissions, office visits, and intubated kids.”
Governor John Bel Edwards says the state is headed into dangerous territory.
Here are some numbers:
In two weeks- COVID-19 positive cases have risen 167%
In 14 days- the state has seen 245 new hospitalizations
“Clearly it is linked to two things. Number one, is the delta variant and secondly, vaccination rates are woefully inadequate,” says Edwards.
Since February, 97% of deaths and hospitalizations are linked to unvaccinated individuals.
O’Neal adds, “I want to be clear. We have two options, get vaccinated or choose death.”
Region Four Medical Director Dr. Tina Stefanski says while vaccinations are available to everybody 12 and up, Louisiana continues to lag behind the national average for vaccination rates.
“COVID is unpredictable. I don’t think anyone thought we would be where we are now. It has changed the picture,” says Stefanski.