Is Louisiana getting closer to herd immunity? LDH doctor says we are not close

WWL Newsroom
July 13, 2020 - 7:30 am

Louisiana is reporting nearly 78,000 coronavirus cases. The state has 4.6 million people, which means about two-percent of the state’s residents have tested positive. Regional public health director for Acadiana, Dr. Tina Stefanski, says if you think herd immunity is the answer for this virus, we are not close.

“Herd immunity can only be achieved when upwards of 80 to 90-percent of people in a community, and we actually don’t know with this virus what that number would be, have recovered,” said Stefanski.

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Stefanski says scientific evidence has shown the best way to beat the virus without closing businesses back down again is by wearing masks.

“The more people that wear face coverings in the public, we’ve learned from other countries that have done this successfully, what you do is then you have great compliance in the community then you drive down the level of transmission,” said Stefanski.

Assistant State Health Officer, Doctor Joe Kanter, says persons between the age of 18 to 29 continues to be the age group with the most new cases and there’s evidence they are spreading the virus to older, sicker people.

“We will continue to see increasing hospitalizations and in time we will see an increase in deaths,” said Dr. Kanter.

36% of the cases reported Sunday are of individuals 29 and under. The state reported 13 new deaths on Sunday to bring the state’s death toll to 3,308.

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