NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell confirmed the Morial Convention Center will be used as an additional facility in the case of a hospital overspill.
The announcement was made in a press conference on Wednesday, March 25
“We are preparing to mobilize in a way that many of us have never seen. This is a disaster that will define us for generations,” New Orleans Homeland Security Director Collin Arnold said.
The convention center will be able to service up to 3,000 patients for people who tested positive and can be relocated out of the hospital into another facility.
Cantrell referred to the convention center as a “surge” medical facility and hopes to use the facility for non-COVID patients as well.
After a high increase in cases, the state and federal officials have been developing plans in the case of a surge. Also, additional hospital beds will need to be provided in a matter of weeks.
The hospital is prepared for weeks, but could potentially run out of beds, according to Dr. Jennifer Avegno, the Director of the New Orleans Health Department.
Cantrell believes that the city will saturate hospitals by April 7.
They also stated in the press conference that the results of social distancing will not be fully seen for at least another week.