State surpasses 10,000 deaths due to COVID-19; vaccines available to most

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of...
COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness.(AP)
Updated: Mar. 22, 2021 at 4:45 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - One year after Louisiana entered a statewide lockdown, the total number of deaths has surpassed 10,000, making it among the top causes of death in the state.

On Monday, March 22, the Louisiana Department of Health reported 42 new deaths, bringing the total to 10,030.

“Today is a grim milestone for our state as more than 10,000 Louisianans have now died from COVID-19, marking a year of sadness and loss, as so many families and friends are missing their loved ones. We must pray for them and their families and do everything we can to prevent the spread of this terrible illness,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “While the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, in the midst of darkness, there is hope – more than one million people in Louisiana have now started the vaccination process. We are blessed that our scientists and doctors have produced three highly effective and safe vaccines against this illness, and now more than ever, we are called to continue to protect each other and to save lives through wearing masks, keeping distance and getting the vaccine when it is our turn. These vaccines are not just about to getting back to a more normal life and ending the pandemic, they’re also a critical tool in ensuring fewer people die from this illness.”

“10,000 lives lost in one year. Any loss of life is tragic, but a loss this large is stunning,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. “For context, that means we have lost more residents to COVID-19 than accidents, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s combined which were the third, fourth, fifth and sixth leading causes of death in 2017. It would’ve been the second leading cause of death that year, behind only heart disease. Said another way, we’ve lost more residents to COVID than the population sizes of 85% of Louisiana’s towns, cities and villages.”

“The number of deaths from COVID-19 is more than the number of deaths from accidents, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s Disease combined - the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th leading causes of death in Louisiana in 2017. In 2017, the most recent year for which there is data, only heart disease took the lives of more people in Louisiana,” the agency reported.

ONE-STOP-SHOP: Stats, links related to COVID-19

Although the number of cases has been decreasing in recent weeks, COVID-19 is still very much present in the community.

Gov. Edwards is asking everyone to get vaccinated.

“We’ve launched a grassroots effort to get Louisianans to go #SlevesUp against COVID,” he said on social media. “It’s called Bring Back Louisiana, and we need volunteers from across the state to help get communities vaccinated.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about that campaign.

As of Monday, March 22, the new tier of vaccinations is available to most adults in the state. Thus far, 1,055,991 people in Louisiana have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone who falls into the categories below is eligible, regardless of their underlying health conditions.

“The COVID vaccines are our exit ramp from this pandemic and I could not be more encouraged by the tremendous work already undertaken,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, state health officer. “I am looking forward to even more Louisianans having the opportunity to get vaccinated in the near future.”

RELATED: Gov. John Bel Edwards expands vaccine eligibility in La. to all essential workers

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