Local leaders got together to address the rising COVID-19 numbers in Louisiana.

Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins joined with several medical experts to urge residents to get the vaccine. Perkins says the numbers show the average age is much lower and we need to take this virus very seriously. Perkins says we should all think about the young people and children who are now headed back to school.

Perkins says he is pleading with people to get vaccinated. He says the city will continue to "be aggressive and innovative until we get a handle on this virus."

Dr. Steen Trawick, the Chief Executive Officer at Christus Health in Shreveport says we are seeing numbers now that are worse than we have ever seen in the past.

He says there are more than 2400 COVID patients in hospitals across Louisiana and that is the highest number since the pandemic began. He also says this problem is compounded by a local staffing crisis. He says medical workers are getting sick and they are tired.

Dr. Trawick says the average age of these COVID patients is between 30 and 50 years. He says the youngest in our area right now is 20 years old. He does say 90% of these COVID patients are unvaccinated.

The City of Shreveport is offering cash to people for getting the vaccine at 2 local community events that are happening on Saturday.

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