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Doctor says Louisiana needs to move in a different direction to beat COVID-19

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Parking spots start to fill up as soon as Juban Point Urgent Care opens for business on Monday, July 26.

“For the last few weeks here at our urgent care clinic, we are just seeing…it’s nonstop. You know are seeing 8 to 10 people an hour every day, all day,” Dr. Joseph Thomas, who is the owner and medical director of Juban Point Urgent Care, says.

Dr. Thomas not only treats COVID patients at this clinic but he’s also been working in local emergency rooms seeing COVID patients flood hospitals for help.

He says that most of these patients are not vaccinated that, he says needs to change.

“This past Saturday, I was working at one of the local emergency rooms in Ascension, and basically we had a number of patients that came in bilateral pneumonia, grasping to breath. The bottom line is all of these patients that we see are not vaccinated,” adds Dr. Thomas.

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Louisiana has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, but there are signs tonight that could be changing. Ochsner Health System reporting they’ve seen a 15% increase in people wanting the vaccine.

This past Friday alone, one of Ochsner’s vaccine events had more than 100 walk-ins for the vaccine.

“I think that maybe the people who initially felt that they were able to dodge COVID, now they are probably feeling that they are not that sure this time around with the delta variant,” Annette Martijn, who is Ochsner’s community vaccine clinic supervisor, says.

For doctors like Joseph Thomas, an increase in vaccines can’t come fast enough.

Monday’s COVID case count of 7,592 cases is eight times higher than just four weeks ago.

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