Edwards: State 7 or 8 days away from hospital bed, ventilator shortage


NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO) – The state confirms more than 9,000 coronavirus cases, including 310 deaths.

Those numbers jumped dramatically from the day before, partly because of a jump in the number of test results.

However, the Louisiana Department of Health says the majority of results from the drive-through testing centers in Orleans Parish have not yet come in.

Governor John Bel Edwards extended the stay at home order until April 30, and he says anyone who doesn’t abide by it may regret it.

“This virus, this disease is throughout the state of Louisiana, and everybody needs to take it seriously,” Edwards said. “And everybody will take it seriously, at some point when there is a death of someone  who is close to them. Well, wouldn’t it be better if we took it seriously so that that never has to happen? I think the answer speaks for itself.”

Health department data still shows New Orleans area hospitals are just seven or eight days away from having too few beds and too few ventilators.

Louisiana has more than 1,600 coronavirus patients in hospitals, and more than 500 of those patients are on a ventilator to survive.

Edwards says his team has been searching around the world for more ventilators, and the state is prepared to open the Morial Convention Center to overflow patients if necessary this weekend.

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