‘We’re just not there yet,’ State health officer not yet ready to say pandemic fully over

Louisiana is breaking records once again when it comes to COVID-19, except this time, it’s a welcome sight!
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 11:01 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2022 at 8:15 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana is breaking records once again when it comes to COVID-19, except this time it’s a welcome sight!

“I think the take-home message is, while on one hand while you have historic lows right now, I do think the worst of this is over. But COVID is still out there, you can still get it, there are still people getting it,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, the state health officer with the Louisiana Department of Health.

On Monday, LDH reported new record lows, only 38 people are in the hospital with the virus, and only 1 person is using a ventilator to breathe.

Those numbers have been trending lower and lower these past few weeks.

“But the ground truth numbers are the hospitalization numbers, and that’s where we’re focusing, and things are much much better,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) on Thursday, April 21.

“Is the pandemic behind us?” questioned WAFB’s Lester Duhe’.

“No, I don’t think so, but we’re in the best place now than we’ve ever been, and at an important time during this pandemic,” said Dr. Kanter.

“In your tweet, you did say pandemic is clearly not over. But if it’s not over now with these record numbers Dr. Kanter, will it ever be over in your opinion?” questioned WAFB’s Lester Duhe’.

“Well I think it will be over, we’re just not there yet. Again this is these are new record lows, but we’re still fresh in this I think. And we still, unfortunately, report people who die from COVID,” said Dr. Kanter.

A lot of people in Louisiana and elsewhere for that matter have tuned out the words Covid and pandemic, especially from their daily things to worry about list.

Dr. Kanter says some people don’t have that luxury yet.

“I think the real messaging needs to be directly towards people who are more vulnerable should they get COVID themselves. People that are at an advanced age, people that have significant underlying conditions, certainly people that have impaired immune systems,” said Dr. Kanter.

But will you have to receive more booster shots, or start your vaccine series over again in the future or on a yearly basis?

“I don’t think it’s going to be success of boosters, one after the other. I think as the pandemic, as we transition to this more endemic phase, and we’re in the middle of that process right now, you know, there’s going to be better data on the appropriate dose of the boosters and potentially new boosters down the road,” said Dr. Kanter.

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