LAFAYETTE, La. — A spike in COVID-19 cases in the state is causing concern among health care experts.
As of July 19, nearly 4,000 new cases have been reported and more than 700 people are in the hospital because of the virus. In total, the state currently borders the 500,000 case mark.
Dr. Frank Courmier, a pulmonary critical care physician at Our Lady of Lourdes, tells KATC 99 percent of the new cases at the hospital come from people who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Compared to one week ago, or maybe ten days ago, we were at our best,” said Dr. Courmier. “We were as low as we’ve ever been for COVID-19 patients.”
But that’s no longer the case.
Most of Acadiana is either considered high or highest community risk.
“Now, people are coming in younger and much healthier, usually, very often without any medical problems,” he said.
Another thing new patients have in common – they do not have the COVID-19 vaccine.
Although he says he loves his job and healthcare employees have that second nature to care for those in need, this lack of vaccination is causing concern and frustration among those on the front lines.
“It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of buy-in right now,” he said. “That creates within the health care community a sense of frustration.”
This feeling of frustration, he says, comes from knowing there’s what some may call a way out of the virus, but people are still reluctant to get it.
Only a bit over 30 percent of region four, which makes up Acadiana, is vaccinated.
He says nurses are the ones feeling the heat the most.
“They spend 12 hours with that patient every day, and to see what their trajectory is, slow, sometimes agonizing process that they have to go through with this infection can feel very defeating to them,” he said.
Dr. Courmier says those who are currently dealing with COVID can and still should get the vaccine. Experts advise a patient waits 60 days after their symptoms go away to get vaccinated.
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