NPR News, Classical and Music of the Delta
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Fourth Surge Of The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Accelerating, Gov. Edwards Calls It ‘Scary’

A computer rendering of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Radoslav Zilinsky
Getty Images
A computer rendering of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Louisiana hit another record-high day for COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on Tuesday.

Cases and hospitalizations are on a near-vertical rize in the state as the fourth surge of the coronavirus pandemic accelerates.

Gov. John Bel Edwards called the numbers “increasingly scary.” Louisiana has the fastest-growing number of cases per capita of any state in the U.S. The nation is now recording the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in the world, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The state health department saw over 6,700 cases of COVID-19 reported in one day, the second-highest single-day case count since January, when the pandemic was at its peak.

Another 169 people were hospitalized in a single day — the largest daily increase in hospitalizations since March of 2020, when the coronavirus first struck and made a global hotspot of Louisiana.

A total of 1390 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 113 of them on ventilators.

Hospitals are at risk of running out of space with the onslaught of COVID patients.

All LCMC hospitals and Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rouge announced on Monday they’re pausing new, non-urgent surgical procedures requiring an inpatient bed. Other hospitals have drastically limited visitations.

The Louisiana Department of Corrections has again suspended all visitation and volunteer programs at state-run prisons until at least mid-August.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued new guidelines for everyone, including vaccinated people and children, to wear a mask indoors. Last week, Edwards announced a similar advisory.

He again pleaded for people to get vaccinated.

“This surge is on us, and that means it is up to each of us to do our part to bring it to an end,” Edwards said.

Over 1400 sites across the state offer COVID-19 vaccines, which are free.

Copyright 2021 WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

Rosemary Westwood is the public and reproductive health reporter for WWNO/WRKF. She was previously a freelance writer specializing in gender and reproductive rights, a radio producer, columnist, magazine writer and podcast host.