By KEVIN McGILL Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana reported its 16th child death from COVID-19 Wednesday.
The state health department in Baton Rouge said the victim was between the ages of 12 and 17. No other details were released.
It was the seventh pediatric death from the disease since the state’s fourth coronavirus surge began in July. Another child’s death was reported Friday.
“Just five days ago, our hearts were heavy as we mourned the sixth child to lose their life to COVID-19 in this surge. Here we are once more, grieving as another promising young life ends too soon,” Dr. Joseph Kanter, state health officer for Louisiana, said in a news release.
The state reported a total of 99 new COVID-19-related deaths Wednesday and 1,906 confirmed or probable cases.
Daily hospitalization numbers continue to drop. The latest hospitalization figure was 1,221 — still much higher than the spring and early summer, but down from a peak of over 3,000 in August. Hospitalizations are down from the August peak in all nine Health Department regions, although they appear to have leveled off in recent days in the south central and northwest part of the state, based on health department figures.
Kanter again urged Louisiana residents to take steps to prevent the spread of the disease.
“It’s incumbent upon all of us to get the vaccine and wear a mask to protect ourselves and one another, including our children,” Kanter said.
Statewide, only about half of all Louisiana residents have had an initial shot of the COVID-19 vaccine; about 44% have received complete dosages.