The Delta Variant of the COVID-19 virus is with us and going strong, especially in our parish. The Louisiana Department of Health has this information about the Delta Variant, and who is at risk:
●Having had COVID-19 before does not offer protection against the Delta variant, which is much more contagious and is now the dominant strain in Louisiana and the country. Getting any one of the three vaccines, however, has proven to be effective against COVID-19 in general and the Delta variant specifically.
●As a result of the current pace of vaccinations and the spread of the more contagious Delta variant, Louisiana’s COVID-19 trends continue to worsen:
● The number of new cases diagnosed each day in Louisiana has been increasing since June 16 and is now increasing in all nine regions of the state. The statewide average daily number of cases per 100,000 residents has increased 177% over the past 14 days.
●The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout Louisiana has been increasing for the past 14 days, with 245 additional hospitalized patients added during that time, as of today's reporting. That is double the number from two weeks ago.
●Statewide percent positivity of new COVID-19 tests conducted is now 6.3% and has been increasing for the past five weeks.
●During the past week, 35 new outbreaks and 200 new outbreak-associated cases have been identified. This represents a 169% increase in the number of reported outbreaks and a 96% increase in the number of outbreak-associated cases compared to the previous week. The settings with the greatest outbreak increases included camps, child day cares, religious services and restaurants. In addition to the widespread circulation of the more transmissible Delta variant, insufficient masking and distancing, especially among unvaccinated individuals, are also contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in these settings.
●Getting a COVID-19 vaccine remains the single best way of protecting yourself, your family and your community against COVID-19. While the protection provided by each of the three currently available COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) is very good against COVID-19 and the variants currently spreading in Louisiana, the protection is not absolute. LDH is aware of a small number of “breakthrough cases,” or individuals who contracted COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.
●So far, more than 184 million Americans – including more than 1.8 million Louisianans – have taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, which are safe and effective against COVID.
●The CDC says 99.2% of all COVID-19 deaths are in unvaccinated people, meaning the available vaccines are very effective against the current COVID-19 variants, including Delta, which is the dominant strain in Louisiana.
In light of this information, Bishop Thompson has shared these guidelines:
As this pandemic continues, please remember to be as safe as possible, and encourage those who may not have been vaccinated to get their vaccines! Together, we will continue to make progress.