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NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana Department of Health announced Friday the sixth pediatric death that's occurred during the fourth wave of the Delta variant of COVID-19. This brings Louisiana's pediatric death toll of COVID-19 to 15 overall.Due to the individual's status as a minor, no further information will be released about the child, but LDH confirmed that they were between the ages of 5 and 11.The pediatric age range is considered to be anyone under the age of 18."For the sixth time since this fourth COVID surge began, we mourn the loss of a child. Every life lost is a tragedy," said Dr. Joseph Kanter, head medical officer of the LDH. "Our young children who are not eligible to get the vaccine rely on us to protect them, and the best way we can do that is to get the vaccine and wear a mask."Vaccines are not available for anyone under the age of 12 years old; testing, however, is.Louisiana experienced a drop in confirmed COVID-19 cases recently, largely due to the unavailability of testing after Hurricane Ida knocked out many of the state's health systems' utilities.Testing across the state was cut nearly in half in the seven days after the storm, with Ochsner Health, Louisiana's largest hospital system, reporting on Sept. 8 that their testing numbers were down to a third of what they were prior to the storm.“We may see a little bump in COVID following the storm,” said Dr. Robert Hart, chief medical officer at Ochsner. “The evacuations, lots of people staying in a hotel room if they’re evacuating, we do have a concern about that.”

  • Updated

BATON ROUGE, La. - During a Monday morning Health and Welfare meeting with Louisiana lawmakers, Dr. Joseph Kanter of the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) indicated that the increasing number of COVID patients in need of treatment continues to overwhelm many local hospitals and their staff.