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COVID cases halt Louisiana hospital intake

Nurses and doctors in the CoxHealth Emergency Department in Springfield, Mo., must don personal protective equipment to treat patients with COVID-19, Friday, July 16, 2021.
Nurses and doctors in the CoxHealth Emergency Department in Springfield, Mo., must don personal protective equipment to treat patients with COVID-19, Friday, July 16, 2021.Nathan Papes/Springfield News-Leader/Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — One of Louisiana’s largest hospitals has temporarily stopped taking inpatients for nonemergency surgeries because of a steadily increasing influx of COVID-19 patients.

Baton Rouge-based Our Lady of the Lake said it will pause scheduling new nonurgent surgeries that require an inpatient bed for at least three weeks after admitting 25 new COVID-19 patients within the last 24 hours.

Louisiana has one of the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates in the nation. That is worsening the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious delta variant.

Statewide, the health department said Monday the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 reached 1,221. That’s more than double the number 10 days ago.

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