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Broome urges more vaccinations & possibly wearing masks indoors, as cases surge

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The concern among hospital leaders is growing after the Louisiana Department of Health reported more than 5300 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

With 844 people across the state battling COVID-19 from a hospital bed.

State and local leaders are still pushing people to get a shot, at least for now.

“The numbers are not good,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

Louisiana is once again seeing a spike in coronavirus cases.

“I actually lost my breath today, when that daily update came to me. So, we have some work to do,” said Governor Edwards.

Here in our area, the number of hospital beds filling up at local healthcare systems is growing daily.

As of 7/21:

- Our Lady of the Lake - 73 patients

- Baton Rouge General - 54 COVID-19 patients

- Ochsner Baton Rouge - 30 patients

“We’re seeing increases in hospitals throughout the system, but more so in region two, which is the Baton Rouge region,” said DR. Sandra Kemmerly, Ochsner System Medical Director of Hospital Quality.

Ochsner officials said, 90 to 95% of the more than 300 COVID-19 patients being treated in Ochsner systems statewide, are not vaccinated.

“In the last 4 weeks, we’ve seen a significant rise in our numbers throughout our facilities, but certainly Baton Rouge has seen it,” said Robert Hart, Ochsner Chief Medical Officer.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced this recommendation Wednesday, for residents in her city.

“Strongly putting in place, an indoor mask advisory, there is no way around that,” said Cantrell.

“And we really need our people to take advantage of the vaccinations,” said Sharon Weston Broome, East Baton Rouge Mayor-President.

Mayor Broome took part in an Instagram live with Mayor Cantrell Wednesday, pushing for more of people here to get the shot.

Broome also said masking up is optional, but it’s a tool you can still use.

“I’m not ashamed of putting a mask on, and I’m not going to let nobody shame me about putting a mask on. And at the end of the day, we don’t want to go backwards. And you’re absolutely right. And I am encouraging our people to wear a mask inside as well,” said Mayor Broome.

WAFB asked a spokesperson with the Mayor’s Office if she was considering any new advisories or restrictions at this time. They said, “We are having those conversations.”

The governor will hold a news conference on Friday, to address the latest surge in cases.

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