During his news conference yesterday, Governor John Bel Edwards called upon Louisiana residents to get a flu shot to help the state’s healthcare system as it prepares to battle both COVID-19 and the flu in the coming months.
Edwards said the number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s hospitals has decreased to around 1,300, which is down from 1,600 three weeks ago. He said if it were not for his statewide mask mandate and restrictions on bars the number of hospitalizations would be more than 2,000. Despite the decrease in hospitalized patients, the governor warned hospitals in the state are still strained because of COVID-19. He said 15 hospitals do not have any Intensive Care Unit capacity and 11 hospitals do not have any medical surge beds available. The Louisiana Department of Health reported 1,137 positive COVID-19 cases Thursday. Edwards said the positivity rate has decreased from 12.5% on Aug. 1 to 10.33%. However, he said state health officials are still concerned because the death rate remains high.
Louisiana’s statewide 211 network is now answering calls about COVID-19 from Louisiana residents who have questions. For questions or the most current information: Dial 211, Text LACOVID to 898-211, or visit http://LA211Help.org.