BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KLFY) – Wednesday’s update from Gov. John Bel Edwards came with a sober warning. Overnight, more than 400 cases were added to the statewide total, with 19 additional deaths.
Forty-eight of the state’s 64 parishes have confirmed cases, but believing certain parishes are coronavirus free is denial, the governor said.
“I can assure you, COVID is present in every single parish across the state,” Edwards said during his daily briefing.
This week, Louisiana joined four other states requesting federal disaster assistance to relieve its health care system, which is already feeling a tightened grip due to lack of resources to treat coronavirus patients and protect workers.
Edwards noted that the New Orleans area has received some orders of ventilators this week, but due to the rapid rate of virus cases, the region could be completely lacking in the supplies in a matter of weeks.
“We are far from OK,” Edwards said. “If our growth continues, we could potentially run out of vents the first week in April in the New Orleans area.”
Wednesday’s briefing carried a bleaker tone than Edwards’ “be a good neighbor” message the previous day.
He continued to urge residents to stay home and avoid public places unless necessary. “This is real and every person in this state needs to take this seriously.”
Hotels, convention centers are all being eyed possible locations for emergency medical facilities.
Edwards noted that dorms are not being considered.