In Louisiana, no idea when coronavirus cases rise might ease

Louisiana News

A nurse treats COVID-19 patient Cedric Daniels, 37, of Gonzales, La., at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. Louisiana is leading the nation in the number of new COVID cases per capita and remains one of the bottom five states in administering vaccinations. (AP Photo/Ted Jackson)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A top executive for the four-hospital Willis-Knighton Health System in northwest Louisiana doesn’t yet see any relief ahead as COVID-19 hospitalizations keep rising.

Brian Crawford is the chief administrative officer for the Shreveport-Bossier City area health system. He says 20% of the system’s beds are filled with COVID-19 patients.

About 90% of them are unvaccinated. The growing numbers of seriously ill patients and urgent pleas from government officials and health workers may be having an effect on vaccination rates.

For weeks, the number of people seeking their first shot was around 20,000 or less. It began going up as caseloads exploded in mid-July and was close to 77,000 last week.

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