LCMC Touro Infirmary reporting zero COVID-19 inpatients, first time since pandemic began

Touro was one of the hardest hit hospitals in the region at beginning of pandemic, according to emergency medical director Dr. Jeffrey Elder.
Updated: Mar. 17, 2021 at 10:41 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Health officials are calling it a huge victory for the LCMC Health System. For the first time since the pandemic began, Touro Infirmary is reporting zero COVID-19 positive inpatients.

“I think it’s great news,” said Dr. Jeffrey Elder, medical director of emergency management at LCMC Health. “A victory we should celebrate, but we just have to continue to fight the fight.”

Elder said this victory for Touro means a lot since it was one of the hardest-hit hospitals in the region.

“We know we’re going to see some ebb and flow of the case count; that’s the nature of this virus, and that’s why people have to mask and follow the public health advice,” he said.

Now, one year later, countless hours of hard work by medical staff, and a vaccine rolling out, Elder said there is light at the end of the tunnel in this fight.

“I think it’s great for really the whole region that our numbers have come down this low,” he said. “We’re down to about two dozen patients in all of our LCMS hospitals as of today with no patients at Touro.”

And they’re not alone.

A spokesperson for Ochsner Health said in April of last year, the health system peaked at close to 900 COVID-19 inpatients. Fast forward to today, and Ochsner has just under 125 COVID inpatients. The health system is hoping the downward trend continues.

Recent data from the Louisiana Department of Health shows in Orleans Parish alone, the positivity rate stands at one percent.

“Our numbers are tremendously improved,” said Dr. Elder. “This is one of the best points that we’ve been all year, in the past year with COVID inpatients.”

While the inpatient numbers are down, Dr. Elder said now is not the time for the public to let their guard down. He said there is still a ways to go with ending this pandemic.

But in the meantime, they’ll take the recent victory.

He reminds the public that it is still important to continue following the safety mandates that have proven to help slow the spread of the virus: hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing.

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