Despite jump in hospitalizations, local officials say system is not strained

The increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations back to mid-May levels in Louisiana isn't threatening to strain capacity, but it is concerning to local leaders. 

Related: Louisiana COVID-19 hospitalizations back above 1,000

While hospitals in neighboring Texas are reporting running out of ICU beds, Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng says local hospitals are still well within their limits.

"I am in communication with our hospitals, we're not near capacity, nothing like the situation we were in in April," she told WWL's Tommy Tucker. 

The latest wave of infections seems to be mostly younger people, said Sheng -- people who are less likely to need critical care. But she is also aware that there is no guarantee tomorrow's cases will be the same as today's.

"Our worry is, what is it like a week to two from now if the younger people pass it to older people who are going to have our share of critical care?" she asked.

Sheng says 25 percent of Jefferson Parish's population is over the age of 60.