LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Right now across the Ochsner Lafayette General system, there are 22 COVID-19 patients. Five people are in ICU, and two people are on ventilators.

The decision to crack down on visitation restrictions comes after the recent COVID-19 surge caused by the Omicron variant. The following rules are in place:

  • All patients, employees, and guests are required to wear masks.
  • Children under two years of age are excluded from masking requirements.
  • Children visitors must be accompanied by an adult and remain in the patient’s room.
  • Visitors are to maintain social distancing at all times, including in waiting rooms, cafeterias, and other shared areas.

Ochsner Lafayette General CEO Al Patin said, “It’s a precaution that we are taking knowing that we are receiving a lot of positive cases in the community”

In some cases, depending on the circumstances, no visitors may be allowed.

“Our urgent cares and our emergency rooms are experiencing a high level of volume over the last several days and into this week,” Patin said.

Although being vaccinated does not exclude anyone from following visitation guidelines everyone is encouraged to take both the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, you are asked to get tested at an outpatient facility to prevent overcrowding.

“Please do not come to our emergency room if you are asymptomatic,” Patin said. “You will wait an extremely long amount of time.”

Ochsner Lafayette General officials are doing whatever it takes to keep their numbers down and their patients healthy, including offering the monoclonal infusion.

However, Ochsner Lafayette General did confirm they do not offer it for the Omicron variant because it is not effective against the variant.