Louisiana marks 15th pediatric coronavirus death, health officials said

Published 9:29 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

A child is among the latest to die from COVID-19 in Louisiana, state health officials said Friday.

Health department figures showed the state death toll from the virus rose by 52. One of the victims was a child between the ages of 5 and 11.

It was the 15th death of someone younger than 18 in Louisiana since the pandemic began early last year. And it’s the sixth pediatric death since a fourth surge began this summer.

Meanwhile, LSU officials said Friday that 27 students have been unenrolled after failing to meet an extended deadline for COVID-19 reporting requirements.

Students who refused to abide by the original Sept. 10 reporting deadline were given an extra week to complete their registration. The university said 78 students were sent notices Wednesday about losing their spot at the school as a result. Those students were given until 4 p.m. Friday to complete registration and get back into their classes.

University spokesman Ernie Ballard said 51 of those 78 students “took the necessary steps to remain part of the LSU community.”

Ballard said that expulsion was the school’s last resort, The Advocate reported.

“Everyone has to do their part for us to have a successful fall,” Ballard said, “and that started with students letting us know if they had been vaccinated or to show proof of a negative COVID test or that they had recently had COVID.”

“The goal from the start has been to get students in compliance and not for us to unenroll students,” he said.

Coronavirus hospitalizations, meantime, continued to drop in the state. They fell to 1,367 in Friday’s figures, 64 fewer than the previous day. Hospitalizations are down from a peak of more than 3,000 in August but still well above the pre-surge levels of mid-summer.