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Gov. Edwards: VP Pence confirms Louisiana will be getting more ventilators from national stockpile

Louisiana News

BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Saturday that Vice President Mike Pence confirmed Louisiana will receive an additional 200 ventilators from the federal Strategic National Stockpile in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With this commitment, Louisiana will have received a total of 350 ventilators from SNS, according to the governor’s office, which says they are expected to arrive soon.

RELATED: What is a ventilator? The life-saving device that is in short supply

That news comes as the number of people confirmed to have the coronavirus surpassed 12,000 Saturday, with the number of deaths rising to 409. As of 12 p.m. Saturday, the Louisiana Department of Health was reporting 12,496 positive cases of COVID-19. There are 1,707 patients in hospitals being treated for the virus. 535 of them are on ventilators.

Edwards said earlier this week that the hardest-hit area of Louisiana, which includes Orleans and Jefferson parishes, was on track to exceed capacity for ventilators as early as April 4 and to run out of available hospital beds by April 7.

RELATED: Projection models predict COVID-19 pandemic will peak in Louisiana on April 8

“I spoke to the Vice President this morning and reiterated Louisiana’s ongoing needs,” said Gov. Edwards. “Based on our modeling, we know that we will exceed our capacity to deliver health care to those who need it, first in the New Orleans area, but because of these ventilators and others that we are sourcing around the world, we will be able to prolong that inevitable day and have fewer people go with unmet medical needs.”

In total, Louisiana has ordered 14,000 ventilators, including 5,000 from the federal government’s strategic national stockpile. To date, the governor’s office says the state has received a total of 553 ventilators. The first shipment from SNS of 150 ventilators was announced on March 30 and arrived days later. 

  • 150 – SNS (an additional 200 ventilators are expected soon)
  • 400 – Private vendors
  • 3 – Louisiana National Guard

RELATED: States demand ventilators as feds ration limited supply

“We are grateful to both President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence for keeping Louisiana at the forefront of this fight against COVID-19 and appreciate them understanding the necessity of these ventilators for the survival of our people, especially in light of today’s sobering numbers,” Edwards said in a statement announcing the promise of additional ventilators.

61 of the state’s 64 parishes have confirmed cases. The number of cases in Caddo Parish jumped by 221 since Friday, for a total of 598. Bossier Parish is reporting 31 new cases, bringing the total to 127. DeSoto is now reporting 75 cases and a third death in the parish.

There are now 886 cases and 20 deaths confirmed across the following parishes:

  • Caddo  –  598 case(s)  |  10 death(s)  |  127 state tests  |  10,406 commercial tests
  • Bossier  –  126 case(s)  |  2 death(s)  |  30 state tests  |  1,418 commercial tests
  • De Soto  –  71 case(s)  |  3 death(s)  |  7 state tests  |  45 commercial tests
  • Webster  –  42 case(s)  |  2 death(s)  |  8 state tests  |  425 commercial tests
  • Claiborne  –  20 case(s)  |  2 death(s)  |  11 state tests  |  48 commercial tests
  • Bienville  –  10 case(s)  |  1 death(s)  |  3 state tests  |  13 commercial tests
  • Natchitoches  –  15 case(s)  |  0 death(s)  |  14 state tests  |  123 commercial tests
  • Sabine  –  4 case(s)  |  0 death(s)  |  5 state tests  |  50 commercial tests
  • Red River  –  2 case(s)  |  0 death(s)  |  24 state tests  |  27 commercial test

RELATED: LDH: COVID-19 data models show thousands of new hospitalizations daily without effective social distancing

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