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Gov. Edwards gives ‘end of year’ address

Governor John Bel Edwards (Source: WAFB)
Governor John Bel Edwards (Source: WAFB)
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 6:07 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2021 at 1:49 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards held his annual “end of the year” news conference on Thursday, Dec. 16.

Edwards talked about the challenging year the state faced but added there were lots of positives. He emphasized the state still has a long way to go with recovery from the pandemic and Hurricane Ida.

Louisiana experienced two surges of COVID-19 in 2021. The year began with the state in the midst of a wave that began in November 2020 and later experienced its highest rate of cases and hospitalizations in the summer.

A record number of patients, 3,022, were hospitalized with COVID-19 during the peak of the summer surge on Aug. 17.

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Edwards discussed the COVID-19 vaccine, which became increasingly available to Louisiana residents throughout the year. Now, residents ages five and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. Louisiana’s first dose was administered to nurse Deborah Ford on Dec. 14, 2020.

As of Monday, more than 2.29 million Louisiana residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Edwards continues to encourage residents to receive COVID-19 booster shots.

On Tuesday, Dec. 14, Gov. Edwards announced he was rejecting the Louisiana House Committee on Health and Welfare’s decision to not require Louisiana students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The governor overruled the legislative committee and mandated the COVID-19 vaccine be added to the school immunization schedule.

On the sixteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29.

RELATED: Christmas will be tough for families still struggling after Hurricane Ida

Ida like Katrina caused catastrophic damage to Louisiana. Ida is now among the costliest hurricanes on record to strike the United States. Early estimates from NOAA place damages around $65 billion, making it the 5th costliest U.S. hurricane landfall on record.

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