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Locals react to new COVID guidelines as fourth surge takes over

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 9:35 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 9:39 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The state of Louisiana has entered its fourth surge of COVID with 3,127 new cases as of Friday.

State and health officials are concerned as that number continues to climb and announced new COVID safety guidelines for the state.

“I hope that people follow it. I think it’s really important,” said New Orleans resident Emerald Grippa. “I think for the most part we’re seeing more and more people take the guidelines seriously.”

Governor John Bel Edwards said Louisiana is leading the country in COVID-19 cases-- something he is deeply concerned about as a majority of those cases are from the unvaccinated population.

“The statewide average of daily cases per 100,000 residents has increased 208% over the past 14 days and Louisiana now has the highest growth rate in cases per capita in the United States of America,” he said. “I wanna let that sink in.”

The latest numbers from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) show nearly 92 percent of cases reported were unvaccinated, 90 percent hospitalized were unvaccinated, and 91 percent of COVID-related deaths reported were unvaccinated.

Edwards stressed the importance of getting the vaccine, while also announcing new state guidelines:

- Encouraging all people both unvaccinated and vaccinated to wear a face mask while indoors.

- Recommending businesses to review the workplace to reduce transmission among employees.

- Recommending all people should get tested after potential exposure to the virus.

“We have not really seen any signs yet that it is slowing very much in the upslope and that is not a comforting place to be,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter with the LDH.

Dr. Kanter said more than one-third of the parishes in the state are now above the 10 percent mark in COVID positivity, which he said is “extremely alarming.”

“I just wanted to wait and see to make sure the studies were coming back safe and any serious reactions,” said Caroline Mastropierro, a mother who brought her 13-year-old son to get vaccinated. “Do your research as long as it’s backed by reliable sources and make the best decisions for your family.”

Governor Edwards continued to stress the importance of receiving a vaccine. He said there are more than 1,400 locations across the state to get vaccinated.

Residents can call 2-1-1 to find the nearest location to them.

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