The federal government is sending Louisiana two field hospitals and 60 people to staff them to help the state deal with patients impacted by the coronavirus. Gov. John Bel Edwards also requested qualified volunteers of “all medical backgrounds” to help with the effort, directing them to covid-19lavolunteers.org for more information.
State officials are setting up a temporary 1,100-bed medical facility at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
“The curve [of increasing cases] that we are on is not promising,” he said. “Everyone is at risk.”
As of Thursday’s mid-day update, Louisiana had 2,305 reported COVID-19 cases and 83 deaths.
Though residents of 53 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes have tested positive, Orleans and neighboring Jefferson Parish have the most cases, totaling 1,455 cases and 58 deaths.
The greater New Orleans region could run out of ventilators by April 2 and run out of bed space by April 9, Edwards said. Edwards has requested 5,000 ventilators from the federal strategic reserve but hasn’t received an answer to the request yet.
Louisiana has a “stay at home” order in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, which Edwards said people need to follow.
“We have 4.7 million people,” he said. “We’re not going to enforce our way through this. People need to comply.”