OLG sees uptick in COVID cases, has plan in place for possible surge

Posted at 3:13 PM, Jul 20, 2021

Ochsner Lafayette General on Tuesday provided an update on the state of COVID at their facilities

Dr. Amanda Logue, Chief Medical Officer for Ochsner Lafayette General, says the health system has been monitoring hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic and after seeing a nice downturn in cases, a sharp increase has them preparing for another surge.

"Over the past two and a half weeks, we've seen a sharp upturn in hospitalizations," Logue stated.

She says that there has been an over 400 percent increase in hospitalizations. So far, 50 patients in their system have been hospitalized with COVID-19. This includes an increase in ICU patients.

Ochsner says that they currently track vaccination status for their patients, thus they know that 90 percent of patients who have entered the hospital are not vaccinated.

Statewide the percentage is 93 percent unvaccinated, while in the US, 97 percent of hospitalizations are of unvaccinated people.

Younger patients are now being seen more often with COVID-19. Logue says that at the beginning of the pandemic, there was a tremendous number of older individuals who came through to get vaccinated. The younger population, she says, has not seen that same drive to get vaccinated.

"What we are seeing now is the biggest jump in age range is 20 to 49 year olds. The average age of hospitalizations is 50 years old," Logue said.

The Delta variant has caused an increase in vaccinations at their sites. Logue says that the coverage of the Delta Variant has seemed to push more people to get vaccinated.

"We will do whatever we can to get them their vaccine," she said.

Dr. Logue says that those with the vaccine who come in with COVID are not as sick as unvaccinated patients.

"They do very well," Logue said. "We didn't ever say it would be perfect that you would never get COVID again, but you wouldn't be in the hospital and die."

Louisiana does not test for the Delta variant so there is no exact number of patients known with the variant. Tests are sent to the CDC, which provides results indicating the percentage of Delta Variant in the state.

Logue says that patients are presenting with similar symptoms as before with other surges of COVID-19.

OLG is still offering vaccines to the public in various regions. Information on where to get vaccinated can be found on their website.

Inpatients can now get the vaccine before they are discharged. "It has to be okay-ed with patient and with their medical team," they say.

In response to the increase in cases in the state, a surge plan is in place in case the numbers move beyond what they can handle.

For now, the system says they are in good supply of medical equipment and medication.

"We have done this three times before. Right now, it is manageable," Logue said.

Ochsner Lafayette General says that around 61 percent of employees at OLG are vaccinated.

Logue says she believes that their employee vaccination rate is on par with the state. Mandating vaccines at Ochsner is not in place due to several factors including the vaccines' approval by the FDA.

"We are talking about it but we have not made any decision," she said.

A change in visitor policy is still being worked about and will be announced on Wednesday OLG says. It will go into effect once announced.

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