Acadiana hospitals will surge capacity at the current COVID-19 rate

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LAFAYETTE, La. — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Lafayette Parish is rising at an alarming rate, and local doctors need people to slow down the spread.

82 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Lafayette Parish. That’s more than 32 cases since yesterday, the biggest jump in a 24 hour period yet, and an over 800% increase in cases from a week ago.

Reaching max capacity in state hospitals is not just a New Orleans concern. Hospitals across the state are anticipating running out of intensive care unit space.

“Under any feasible scenario, we are going to exceed our medical capacity here in the state of Louisiana,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards in his Monday press conference.

In region four of Acadiana, well over 100 people are hospitalized who are positive for COVID-19 or suspected sick according to Dr. Tina Stefanski, the Region 4 Medical Director.

She said local hospitals are feeling a strain and nearing capacity, “And several people in the intensive care units (are) very, very sick.”

Unless people take “stay at home” precautions more seriously things could look a lot worse soon, “New Orleans is probably a couple of weeks ahead of us in what they’re dealing with so we hope that these social distancing practices will impact our region in a positive way,” Dr. Stefanski warned.

“In region four, a large portion of the hospitals are smaller hospitals and they exceed capability quickly, and they typically will bring them to the larger facilities,” said Doctor Michael Odinet who is an emergency room doctor at Our Lady of Lourdes and volunteers at the Cajundome screening site.

In the Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Monday press briefing, he said all area hospitals are working with The Office of Public Health to prepare for a surge and what comes after, but they want people to do everything to make the necessary sacrifices to delay it as long as possible.

“It’s hard to do. We’re all. We’re all away from loved ones we’d like to be with and enjoy. My wife and kids have been away for 10 days now, but it’s the fact of life in this time,” said “Odinet. Everybody do that. Participate, and that’s the best thing you can do for Acadiana.”

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