SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – As the pandemic continues to strain healthcare resources across the country, there are signs the surge of the delta variant is starting to slow in Northwest Louisiana.

“It seems that we’re past our peak of this delta variant surge,” said LSU Health Shreveport professor of pediatrics and infectious disease Dr. John Vanchiere. “Most of the rest of the nation is still in the climbing phase of this delta surge, so we’re a few weeks ahead of many places in terms of, our numbers seem to be slowing down on hospitalization side.”

According to the latest data available from the Louisiana Department of Health, hospitalizations in Northwest Louisiana have dropped to around 240 as of Sunday, down from a high of 361 at the peak of the latest surge. Cases in the region have also slowed, from a 7-day average of 538 new cases daily in mid-August to 389 new cases a day at the beginning of September.

The LDH data indicates just over 35% of those eligible in Northwest Louisiana’s Region 7 are now vaccinated, making it the third-lowest region for vaccination rate in the state after Region 5 in Southwest Louisiana (31.88%) and Region 6 in Central Louisiana (34.33%). The New Orleans area, Region 1, is the most vaccinated at just under 53 percent.

On Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported 4,650 new COVID-19 cases statewide since Friday, along with 64 new deaths. The LDH says 84% of the people whose deaths were reported as a result of COVID between Aug. 26 and Sept. 1, as were 89% of the cases reported during that same period.

The LDH also says those who are unvaccinated account for 88% of current hospitalizations.