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COVID-19 patients could move into Convention Center as soon as Sunday

Updated: Apr. 3, 2020 at 5:52 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - State and local leaders urge everyone to just stay home to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

Hospital bed capacity is expected to be reached by Monday and patients are expected to begin moving into the Morial Convention Center this weekend.

Governor John Bel Edwards and other leaders continue to drive home the point for all non-essential employees to continue staying in their homes. That’s why Edwards extended his “Stay at Home” order through the end of April.

Some health experts say we may not even be halfway through this crisis yet in Louisiana and we have to do all we can to lighten the load on area hospitals.

Speaking at his daily press conference, Edwards said that the current increase in cases appears to be less the sign of exponential growth and more of a sign of a log jam for commercial testing.

State leaders acknowledged that some private companies are still working to process their results from tests taken several days ago or even longer.

Edwards did give some positive news saying the vast number of those testing positive for COVID-19 are not requiring hospitalization. However, he did predict that more makeshift hospitals will be needed in the future like the Morial Convention Center where the first patients could be transferred as early as Sunday.

“In the meantime, we are studying multiple facilities and every region of the state to see what the suitability is and what the cost would be to go in and stand it up as a step down medical monitor facility similar to what we’re doing at the Convention Center in New Orleans. We’re well ahead in the process but we haven’t had to reach the trigger points,” says Edwards.

Right now, over 1,600 COVID-19 patients in Louisiana are hospitalized. Over 500 of them are on ventilators.

Edwards also warned those living in rural areas where there aren’t a high number of cases need to be pro-active so the numbers don’t grow.

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