If residents of Louisiana are once again mandated to wear face coverings and limit crowd sizes at festivals and sporting events then the blame for that can be placed squarely on the shoulders of residents of our state who have chosen to not be vaccinated against COVID-19. That's an assumption that can be made with a great deal of confidence based on figures released yesterday by the Louisiana Department of Health.

Dr. Joe Kanter, Louisiana's State Health Officer says that 94% of COVID cases in the state are among those that are unvaccinated. Despite that very sobering statistic, vaccination rates in Louisiana remain very low compared to other states in the union. This fact has Dr. Kanter as well as other state leaders very concerned about what comes next as far as the coronavirus pandemic is concerned.

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Dr. Kanter told the Louisiana Radio Network that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is what is driving the latest surge. Hospitalizations in Louisiana are on the uptick with 44 individuals being hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 based on yesterday's report from the Louisiana Department of Health. Currently, Louisiana has reported 454 persons hospitalized from the disease.

Health officials say the lack of vaccinations in the state combined with the highly contagious Delta variant of the disease is leading to a surge in cases, deaths, and hospitalizations.  And in 94% of cases, it is the unvaccinated individuals in the state who are getting the worst of the disease.

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Health officials estimate that between 70% and 80% of the state's population will need to be vaccinated if the coronavirus pandemic is going to be curtailed. Current vaccination statistics show just under 40% of Louisiana residents have been vaccinated against the disease.

Kanter suggests through his comments that the current surge in COVID cases is entirely preventable. If people would simply roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated the state and the country can put the pandemic behind it. Until that happens, Dr. Kanter believes that cases across the state and the nation will continue to increase and persist.

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