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Full capacity for Fall festivals, sporting events in jeopardy due to Delta variant concerns

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 6:45 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2021 at 12:14 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -State and local health officials are becoming increasingly worried about the COVID-19 Delta variant as cases climb.

Officials say they’re also concerned about the rising number of cases and hospitalizations across Louisiana, particularly in areas that have seen lower vaccination rates.

The state health department says the Delta variant is the dominant case in the country and state.

About 48 percent of the U.S. is now fully vaccinated, but most of the parishes in the metro area are below that mark.

Orleans is the only parish in the state with a vaccination rate above 50 percent.

New Orleans Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno said Tuesday that large events like fall festivals, sporting events games and other events look more doubtful for full capacity because of the Delta variant.

63.1 percent of Orleans Parish residents are fully vaccinated.

To date, there have been 31,521 positive cases of COVID-19 in New Orleans with an average of 49 cases per day.

Avegno said those 60 and older are 80 percent vaccinated.

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Dr. Avegno says the Delta variant is significantly more contagious.

“As long as the Delta keeps spreading in our unvaccinated communities, eventually it is going to mutate to a form that is even more transmissible and some fear outsmarting our vaccines. We have got to stop this before it mutates into a form of COVID our vaccines do not protect us against,” said Avegno.

Dr. Julio Figueroa is LSU Health’s Chief of Infectious Diseases.

“It is spreading very quickly throughout our population. It went from barely noticeable just a few weeks ago to now the vast majority of cases that are being detected and are being sequenced are actually the Delta variant,” said Figueroa.

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