The number of hospitalized patients in the N.O. area begin to flatten

COVID Impact on Hospitals

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the New Orleans area is plateauing. Doctors say it’s encouraging news.

“Things are looking better than they have in the last couple of weeks. Our total number of people being admitted are down,” said Jeffrey Elder, M.D.

UMC’s Director of Emergency Management, Dr. Elder says right now, there are about 50 patients in LCMC’s 5 hospitals in the New Orleans area. About 15 patients are in the ICU.

“So, overall we’ve seen a flattening of the curve of admissions and we’ve actually seen, over the past couple of days, the numbers have improved a little bit,” Elder, M.D said.

“I’m pleased with the work that’s been done in Orleans and Jefferson parishes to keep those numbers down,” Robert Hart, M.D. said.

In the Ochsner Health system, the number of patients in the New Orleans area hospitals have stayed about the same over the last few weeks, between 80 to 100 patients.

The doctors tell FOX8 they believe it shows the state’s mask mandate is working.

“I think we are starting to see the effect of the mask mandate, but we wouldn’t expect the masks to show an immediate drop off because, remember, this disease can run its course for about two weeks,” Hart, M.D said.

“I think it’s important that we continue to do this. There are parts of the state that continue to see really high numbers. We are doing a little bit better here,” Elder, M.D. said.

Places like Baton Rouge and Lafayette continue to see high numbers of COVID cases, and the doctors believe wearing masks will begin showing improvements in those areas as well.

For now, they say continuing to tests people is important.

“Because we know that 40 percent of people will have the disease, and never in any point of the process, know they have the disease,” Hart, M.D. said.

Dr. Robert Hart says while testing is key, getting the results sooner is also beneficial. Ochsner Health has ramped up the turnaround time on its tests.

“Those people are out exposing more people before they ever get their test results back, so now we’re actually looking at a 36-hour turnaround on tests, and that time will improve even more over the next couple of weeks,” Hart, M.D. said.

Ochsner says it’s testing more than 2 thousand people a day right now.

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