The Latest on the Coronavirus Outbreak

As COVID-19 numbers rise, NW Louisiana medical leaders implore people to ‘mask-up’


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The leaders of three major hospitals in northwest Louisiana, the local medical school and the Northwest Louisiana Medical Society on Monday released a joint letter Monday urging the community to observe personal protection safety measures in the fight against COVID-19.

The letter, signed by James Elrod, president and CEO of Willis-Knighton Health System, Dr. Steen Trawick, CEO/CMO, Christus Shreveport-Bossier Health System, Chuck Daigle, CEO, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, Dr. G.E. Ghali, Chancellor, LSU Health Science Center Shreveport and Brandi Gaitan, executive director, Northwest Louisiana Medical Society, takes a stern look at the uptick in COVID-19 cases in northwest Louisiana.

The leaders first express their deep concern at the increase of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in northwest Louisiana, but offers assurance that their facilities are up to the challenge and are working with Region 7 and the Office of Public Health to respond what they call, “this crisis.”

The letter expresses gratitude for donations of cards, meals and personal protective equipment donated since the pandemic began, but says it now needs the community to step up and take action by wearing face masks in public, maintaining social distancing and frequent hand washing.  

During the initial Stay-at-Home-Work Safe orders, the curve was flattened, the leaders wrote, but now “COVID-19 is spreading quickly,” because too many people thought it was save to go back to life as usual.

“It is proven that when people wear a face mask in public, maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from others, and practice frequent hand hygiene, it reduces the spread of the virus. We are writing this letter to implore the people of Caddo-Bossier and the surrounding parishes to do these three simple things to help us save lives.”

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