BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Gov. John Bel Edwards said that models show that in a worst-case scenario, Louisiana’s healthcare system will be overwhelmed by coronavirus-related incidents within the next 7-10 days.
In his afternoon press conference, Edwards said that limit can be avoided if Louisiana residents follow the mitigation recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which includes the washing of hands, social distancing and covering cough.
However, Edwards said that models can show what the healthcare system can handle in a “surge,” and those numbers are based on assumptions based on the rate of the disease’s spread.
Edwards explained that manpower is a key problem, and unlike in hurricane or flood situations, Louisiana does not have other states or the federal government to lean on in getting extra resources. Even if the state were to open additional facilities as hospital space, those spaces still need to be staffed by trained medical personnel.
“The entire country is on the same footing we are,” said Edwards.
Currently, Edwards said hospitals are moving staff from canceled elective procedures onto coronavirus care. At some point, however, he said each facility will hit a maximum for the number of cases they can handle.
Edwards urged the people of Louisiana to follow the recommendations being publicly pushed. In doing so, the state could avoid hitting that ceiling. While he admitted there aren’t many more mitigation efforts the state could put in place, if people are following recommendations, “…there won’t be a need for us to put more mitigation in place.”
He urged residents to “act as if you have the coronavirus already.”