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As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to surge among unvaccinated Louisianans, Gov. John Bel Edwards is calling upon all Louisianans to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state by getting their vaccine if they have not yet done so or by helping their family, friends, and neighbors get the shot. Between February and July of 2021, unvaccinated people in Louisiana were 20 times more likely to become ill with COVID-19.

“If you have not taken one of the COVID-19 vaccines and you’re 12 or older, it’s time to run, not walk, to one of the more than 1,400 locations where they are readily available all across the state of Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said. “The Delta variant of COVID is now the dominant strain in Louisiana and without the protection that the safe and effective vaccines offer, you are far more likely to become ill with COVID in Louisiana. Our hospitals are again stretched thin with limited staff capacity, and the vast majority of COVID patients are not yet fully vaccinated against the illness.

“To those who are vaccinated, thank you for taking this important step to protect yourselves and those around you. Today, I’m drafting you all into advocacy for vaccination against COVID-19, because research shows that many people who had questions changed their minds after hearing from doctors, family members and friends,” Gov. Edwards said. “Please, reach out to the people in your life who you know have not been vaccinated and have private conversations with them about their questions, fears and the barriers they may face in getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Help them get good information about how safe it is, and explain that you care about them and want them to be protected. Consider assisting them in getting an appointment or even offering transportation to get the shot. We’re all in this together and we can turn things around – but we have a limited time to do so.”

“COVID-19 cases are surging among the unvaccinated in Louisiana. It’s not one outbreak, it’s not one region. This is a statewide problem,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, State Health Officer. “And because our statewide vaccination rate is too low everyone is at elevated risk and should take precautions immediately for the safety of themselves and their families.”

LDH reaffirms the following guidance for individuals in Louisiana:

If you are not yet fully vaccinated you should mask and distance in public settings and particularly indoors, for your safety and for the safety of those around you.

If you are fully vaccinated you have very good, but not absolute protection. Your risk, while relatively small, will increase as the amount of COVID-19 circulating in your community increases. Masking and distancing particularly when indoors will increase your safety should you desire extra protection. 

If you are at increased risk for complications of COVID-19 by virtue of advanced age or underlying medical condition or have a member of your household family unit who is, LDH strongly recommends you consider masking and distancing when indoors and/or in close proximity to others for added protection.