New Orleans EMS cannot sustain with calls because of Covid-19 surge because the mayor restores a masks mandate
“We’ve been here before, we’ve seen the film. … What was once inevitable can now be avoided. And that’s because our people get vaccinated.”
In the past week, the city has seen more than 1,000 new Covid-19 cases, Cantrell said. And the daily average of cases also rose to 272, up from 104 last week, she said.
“That’s a very dangerous number,” she said. “Our children die. From two weeks to two years up to four years. You cannot make up for that. Our children die.”
The mayor’s mask mandate is effective immediately and applies to indoor spaces and large outdoor crowds. The mayor also demands that all city employees get vaccinated.
More than 71% of New Orleans employees are vaccinated, but that’s not good enough, Cantrell said.
“You really need that mask on, period – if you are vaccinated and of course if you are not vaccinated,” she said.
Regarding the EMS, Cantrell said, “We currently do not have the capacity to respond to emergency calls coming from our community.”
With only 36.8% of Louisiana’s population fully vaccinated, the state had the highest case rate in the country per 100,000 residents last week at 573.3 cases, the federal health department shows. The state’s seven-day death rate per 100,000 people is 1.7, the third highest in the country, with Nevada the highest and Arkansas the second, according to federal data released Friday.
The surge in cases has led Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to seriously consider a mask mandate.
“The Delta variant is a game changer, and at this point in time it doesn’t matter whether we vaccinate or mask, we have to do both,” Edwards said at a press conference on Friday.
“Right now, at least 83.7% of all Covid cases in our region are due to the Delta variant, and therefore anyone in Louisiana Covid positive should assume it is from the Delta variant, and ultimately you have to take the same. ” Precautions regardless, “he said.
The variant has spread across the country and is alarming health authorities. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, safety restrictions and mask guidelines are returning as cases in almost every US state have increased by at least 10% in the past week.
The variant spreads faster and easier than the first coronavirus strain and can infect fully vaccinated people with mostly milder symptoms.
And with the number of vaccinations that remain behind, children bear the brunt of the new cases.
Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is now seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases double what it saw when the pandemic first spike last year, said Dr. Trey Dunbar, the president of the hospital.
“We’ve seen a pretty dramatic increase in the last few weeks,” Dunbar told CNN on Friday. “A significant number of children have to be hospitalized.”
The hospital is currently treating seven Covid-19 patients, but Dunbar estimates that eight to twelve patients are admitted per day. The hospital has up to six admissions a day, with around 50% of those patients going to the intensive care unit, Dunbar said.
In Louisiana’s Caddo Parish, everyone must wear masks in their facilities and buildings starting Monday. According to the state health department, 32% of the community’s population is fully vaccinated.
CNN’s Hannah Sarisohn, Jeremy Grisham, Deanna Hackney and Paul P. Murphy contributed to this report.