Emergency medical responders in New Orleans have been hit so hard by the resurgence in COVID cases that the city doesn’t have the capacity to handle the volume of 911 calls.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a news conference Friday as she announced a new mask mandate
“Thanks to the Delta variant, the Covid pandemic is once again raging out of control.
We have been here before; we’ve seen the movie. … What was once unpreventable, today is preventable. And it’s through our people getting vaccinated.”
She said over the past week, the city saw more than 1,000 new cases and the daily case average also spiked to 272, up from 104 last week.
“This is a very dangerous number. Our children are dying.
From two weeks old to two years old to four years old. You cannot make it up. Our children are dying.”
The mayor’s mask mandate is effective immediately and applies to indoor settings and large outdoor crowds.
The mayor is also requiring all city employees to get vaccinated. More than 71% of New Orleans city employees are vaccinated, but that is not good enough, Cantrell said.
“You really need that mask on, period — whether you are vaccinated and, of course, if you are unvaccinated.”
We currently do not have the capacity to respond to 911 calls that come from our community right now.”
With only 36.8% of Louisiana’s population fully vaccinated, the state saw the country’s highest case rate per 100,000 people over the past week at 573.3 cases, federal health shows. The state’s seven-day death rate per 100,000 people is 1.7, the third-highest in the nation, with Nevada being the highest and Arkansas in second, according to the federal data published Friday.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is seriously considering a statewide mask mandate saying Friday,
“The Delta variant is a game-changer, and at this point, it’s not whether we vaccinate or mask, we have to do both.
Right now at least 83.7% of all the Covid cases in our region is a result of the Delta variant, and so anyone who is Covid positive in Louisiana should assume that it is from the Delta variant, and ultimately you have to take the same precautions, regardless.”
The variant has been spreading throughout the country, alarming health officials and safety restrictions and mask guidances are making a return as cases rose by at least 10% in nearly every US state in the last week, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The variant spreads quicker and more easily than the first coronavirus strain and can infect fully vaccinated people whose symptoms are usually milder.
As the delta variant spreads in a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates, Louisiana is once again seeing the most severe COVID outbreak in the country.— NOLA.com (@NOLAnews) July 24, 2021
"It pains me to say this, but this surge is on us."
(Photo Wikimedia Commons; via CNN)