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Louisiana Covid-19 surge impacting hospitals

Updated: Dec. 4, 2020 at 4:29 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -While the LCMC Healthcare system is treating more Covid-19 patients right now, the UMC Chief Medical Officer, Nirav Patel, M.D., says it’s no where near the numbers they saw at the beginning of the pandemic in March and April.

“But, we have seen an increase and a large part of that is community spread through small groups, exposures in small groups, so, that is definitely something we are seeing right now,” said Patel.

As numbers in New Orleans also increase, he says they’ll have to evaluate how much more they can help other systems with their capacity issues.

“You don’t want to take your finger off this pulse at all right, it’s trying to make sure that you don’t over extend any single hospital or extend any particular region,” said Patel. “LCMC has been doing a really good job of trying to help out our neighbors, helping out other parts of the state, other regions throughout the state, to try to take on some capacity, patient care capacity, that they are struggling with themselves, again that has put some stress on our system, but, we have been trying to balance that with, our again, our desire and obligation to help out our neighbors.”

The Chief Medical Officer of Ochsner Health, Robert Hart, M.D., says they’re seeing a rise in Covid-19 patients too.

“Today, across our system, we have 250 patients, if you go back 4 to 6 weeks ago we were more around 100, so, you can see those hospitalizations are going up and it’s really occurring across the state, it’s not isolated to one region,” said Hart.

New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell says the makeshift hospital at the Convention Center is still available if needed.

“Based on the status of the state, that is remaining in place, but we have not had to activate at all. What we have seen is that the city and our hospitals are responding to the needs of other regions in our state and we will continue to do that. But, we’re watching it again very closely, so, that the services that residents need here locally as it relates to our hospitals and surgeries and the like, they’re able to continue to move forward,” said Cantrell.

Medical experts have expressed concern about what the rest of the holiday season will bring.

“I’m worried, post-Thanksgiving, that again, the case numbers are going to go up. The Governor put the phase 2 restrictions in place before that, but, the impact of that is not being felt yet, and so, we will see what happens in terms of our numbers post-Thanksgiving and then post-Christmas as well,” said Patel.

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