Gov. Edwards and Mayor Cantrell provide updates on resources, Morial Convention Center

Gov. Edwards and Mayor Cantrell provide updates on resources, Morial Convention Center

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Governor John Bel Edwards says Louisiana’s COVID-19 cases continue on an upward trend. Though he says the state still needs to increase testing capacity, Edwards says results are now consistently coming in New Orleans and Cantrell says notifications are going out.

“We still have a great need to flatten the curve,” Gov. Edwards said in a press conference today.

But Edwards says there are still too many positives coming back in those results, urging the public to adhere to city and state mandates surrounding social distancing. This is not only to ensure personal safety and the safety of those nearby but to also avoid further strain on the healthcare system.

“While we are going to be prepared for surge capacity in the event our hospitals do not have enough beds to care for patients with COVID-19, it is my hope and my prayer, we will not need them,” Gov. Edwards said.

Governor John Bel Edwards says 1,000 beds will be available at the Convention Center within the week for COVID patients who are almost ready to go home. He says another 250 possibly positive patients will be monitored in a temporary, Navy-staffed facility across the street.

The facility will not be for patients in extremely critical condition or who need ventilators.

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“It is in New Orleans for a reason. Citizens need to remember that because, at this time, we are still leading the state of Louisiana in the number of cases with the number of residents suffering from this virus,” Mayor Cantrell said.

Between Ochsner and LCMC, the governor says New Orleans will soon have an additional 160 Intensive Care beds available for patients as hospitals across the state add more. He says the beds here will allow hospitals to turn theirs faster. But equipment remains in short supply.

“Frankly, ventilators are too limited and we’re not likely to get them in the numbers that we need them,” Edwards said.

Governor Edwards says he appealed to FEMA in an effort to have his request for 5,000 ventilators from the national stockpile fulfilled. He says orders into private vendors amounting to another 7,000 ventilators. So far, however, the governor says the state has received fewer than 200.

Though Edwards says over 100,000 N-95 masks were received and delivered between Saturday and Sunday, health care workers are still in need of PPE’s.

Cantrell says New Orleans residents are helping to provide these vital supplies through donations at three drop box locations throughout the city.

“And we thank you for that. Those will go to our first responders. Our medical professionals who are making the sacrifice daily to protect the lives of our people,” Mayor Cantrell said.

No one is to show up directly to the convention center when it opens. The governor also says there will be no visitation allowed.

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