LIVE: Gov. Edwards holds press conference following drastic case increase

Louisiana Health Department reports 423 people infected in the Caddo-Bossier area

LIVE: Gov. Edwards holds press conference following drastic case increase
Governor John Bel Edwards gives an update on the current number of COVID-19 cases in the state and actions to slow the spread.

BATON ROUGE, La. (KSLA) - Today, Gov. Edwards will hold a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to COVID-19.

As of Friday, April 3, the total number of COVID-19 cases have reached 10,297 and 370 deaths, 60 more than yesterday.

Friday, March 27 -Gov. John Bel Edwards said the state can expect to get $1.8 billion in federal aid in as little as 30 days to help with the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed at least 119 people in Louisiana.

Louisiana is third in the nation per capita in cases, but second in deaths.

The effort to get ventilators has been tough. They made a request for several thousand and have received 192, with another 100 expected next week. Those have been allocated, “but we need several thousand.”

Edwards said Thursday that the state could run out of ventilator and hospital beds as soon as the first week of April if people do not follow the stay-at-home order issued for this past Monday.

In better news, the state rose to fifth in testing per capita in the U.S. But rural areas need more testing, which might be the reason some parishes are still showing zero cases.

The state is asking for help from medical volunteers around the country. Delta has offered to fly them in for free. They will need to register at lava.dhh.louisiana.gov for their assignments.

Some of those crews could be assigned to the Morial Convention Center, which workers are getting ready to serve as a step-down hospital. The facility will have 120 room with approximately 1,120 beds. The idea is to send patients to the convention center once they are out of ICU.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Health announced they have identified COVID-19 clusters in eight nursing homes in the state.

The eight nursing homes the LDH identified are Chateau D’Ville, Chateau De Notre Dame, Chateau St. James, Good Samaritan New Orleans, Lambeth House, Luling Living Center, St. James Place and Vista Shores.

Edwards also addressed two other questions floating around the public: The rumor that roads and bridges will be closed because of COVID-19 are not true. You can call 511 for more information.

And, the state did not get any warning from the feds ahead of Mardi Gras about coronavirus. There were only around 15 known cases, and those patients were mostly travel-related.

Thursday, March 26- Gov. Edwards says President Donald Trump has agreed to set up two 250-bed field hospitals and a 60-person strike team of health workers.

“Since yesterday we have had 18 deaths since yesterday, making 83 deaths so far,” said Gov. Edwards. “For those who think this is just a problem for urban Louisiana...we now have positive cases in 53 of our 64 parishes. So nobody--nobody--should look at this situation and say this doesn’t involve me”

A 17-year-old girl from Orleans Parish is part of the 83 reported deaths. At this time it is unclear if the teenager had a previous medical condition.

According to John Bel Edwards and the Lousiana Health Department, Lousiana is ranked #2 in cases per capita. New Jersey is also ranked #2.

At this rate, Louisiana is on trend to run out of beds and ventilators as early as the first week of April.

Ochsner Health and LSU Health Shreveport are expanding by 120 ICU bed space to meet patient needs. The new beds will either be distributed all together or in phases.

“Just a few days ago there were only a few cases in Shreveport, Caddo, and Bossier. Now they are up to 115, 32. We saw this is Jefferson. No one should be thinking they are not at risk and that is doesn’t involve them," said Edwards.

Edwards is asking anyone who is willing to step up and volunteer to help nurses and doctors during this time.

There is a volunteer website for healthcare students, graduates, active or retired healthcare workers who can volunteer to help in COVID-19 response. Visit http://covid-19lavolunteers.org to sign up.

As of now, there is no martial law or law enforcement forcing businesses to shut down, however, he says people should start avoiding businesses.

“We are not going to force our way through this, we need everyone to comply, every single person has a responsibility.”

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