Intensive care units in Lafayette, La., are overrun with COVID-19 cases, according to local ABC station KATC. More than 1,000 people in the state have been hospitalized due to the novel coronavirus, and 162 of them are on ventilators.
"The transmission is very high," Dr. Amanda Logue, Ochsner Lafayette General's Chief Medical Officer, told the news outlet.
"We know that this Delta variant is very infectious, contagious ... I've heard reports of one person being able to infect up to five to eight people if they are around them unprotected. That is incredibly high numbers and continues to only make the spread that much faster."
Dr. Henry Kaufman, the interim chief medical officer at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, announced alongside Logue in a press conference that the facility has resorted to using regular beds outside of the ICU due to overcrowding.
"Part of that reason and why it's such a high percentage of our 70 patients is we're seeing enhanced severity of this illness in these individuals, many of whom, are otherwise completely healthy," Kaufman explained.
Logue added that Ocshner Lafayette General has not needed to resort to using beds outside of the ICU but would do so if necessary.
"About four weeks ago we had ten people in our whole health system with COVID and today we have 97, " Logue added.
Both hospitals said they are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in people under the age of 60.
"It's a complete inversion in fact from our last big wave of the pandemic," Kaufman adds, "whereas before, well over 50 percent of the individuals in the hospital and certainly in the ICU were over age 65 with multiple co-morbidities, and many of the people in the hospital were over age 55. Now it's less than perhaps 15 percent of our total patient load right now."
"Young individuals ... are coming in a lot faster and a lot more often than what we've seen ever before," Logue commented, "and I think that speaks to what the Delta variant is doing to the community."
Kaufman said that out of 70 patients with COVID-19 symptoms at Our Lady of Lourdes, only two are vaccinated.
"An elderly individual with emphysema, COPD who, on a bad day with a mild respiratory illness, might end up in our ICU anyway, and an individual with a severe immunocompromised state that the vaccine probably wasn't as effective in that individual.
"Outside of those two individuals, nobody currently suffering in our hospital has been vaccinated and that's a powerful and important story that we need to communicate to the public," Kaufman concluded.
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