Hurricane Ida has pummeled Louisiana's parishes, strapping hospital and health resources as thousands remain without power.
Experts worry Ida's impact will worsen COVID-19 spread in the state's low-lying parishes, where vaccination rates are low – in some only about a third of the population – and cases have surged to all-time highs.
Crowded shelters, delayed treatments and inundated hospitals and intensive care units make a recipe puts under-vaccinated communities at dire risk for more infections, experts said. Forty-one percent of Louisiana's population has been vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The unvaccinated account for the majority of deaths and hospitalizations.