NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana reported 93 new deaths related to the coronavirus on Tuesday, the largest single day increase in deaths since the height of the third surge of the virus in January. The death count is also the highest reported since vaccines for the virus were widely available to the public.
New figures published by the Louisiana Department of Health show that there were 139 more patients hospitalized on Monday compared to the prior day. In total, there were 2,859 people hospitalized with COVD-19 across the state - 91 percent of whom were unvaccinated.
Louisiana reported 6,088 new cases of the virus on Monday. The governor’s office said 1,244 of those cases included children younger than 18 years old. The largest share of Tuesday’s new cases (20 percent) were reported in Acadiana.
The unprecedented pace of hospitalizations in this fourth surge has pushed the healthcare system to its breaking point. The health department said there were 246 ICU beds available across the state. Three of Louisiana’s health regions - which includes 19 parishes - were down to just single digit ICU beds available.
On the Northshore, one of the epicenters of the latest virus surge in Louisiana, hospitals are running low on medical resources and tolerance. Frustrated by the number of cases among the unvaccinated, medical leaders are pleading with folks to get vaccinated and wear a mask.
"I've never seen anything like this. We are hit with a tsunami every single day," Dr. Michael Hill with the St. Tammany Health System said.
The highly contagious delta variant and low vaccination rates are blamed for the latest spread of the virus. The LDH says that close to 45 percent of Louisiana’s population have had one vaccine dose; 38 percent are fully vaccinated. Soaring case numbers have prompted the cancellation of the New Orleans Jazz Fest, which was set for this fall.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.