NEW ORLEANS — Nearly one in every 15 people reported to have died of COVID in the United States since the beginning of August lived in Louisiana, according to numbers from the Louisiana Department of Health and national numbers compiled by the New York Times.
Louisiana has reported 354 COVID deaths since August 1, while the number of deaths in the United States during that time is 5,444. That has Louisiana with 6.5 percent of the COVID deaths in the U.S. since the start of August – or, 1 in 15.3.
Louisiana reported 55 new deaths on Wednesday, but national numbers for Wednesday were not immediately available.
Louisiana is one of the hotspots for COVID outbreaks in the country as it has one of the United States’ lowest vaccination rates with only 38 percent of its residents fully-vaccinated, meaning having received both shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or a shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
The New York Times’ COVID case state tracker shows Louisiana with the highest number of COVID cases per capita over the previous 14 days. Louisiana has 120 cases per 100,000 residents and is averaging 5,571 cases per day. The next closest state is Florida with 93 cases per 100,000 residents.
Louisiana’s COVID death rate per 100,000 residents is also tops in the nation, with .82 deaths per 100,000 residents. Nevada is second with .70, followed by Florida with .66.
Florida is averaging the most COVID-related deaths in the past 2 weeks with an average of 141 deaths per day. Louisiana is fourth, averaging 38.3 deaths per day. Texas with 62.7 and California with 43.6 are second and third, but, with much higher populations, their death rate per 100,000 residents is a fraction of Louisiana’s.
Louisiana's top health official, Dr. Joseph Kanter, told the state board of regents for higher education that additional statewide restrictions might be needed if new COVID cases continue to surge.
"God forbid, if we don’t peak within a week or two it’s simply going to be a catastrophic situation for hospitals. There’s no way to remotely sustain that."