LAFAYETTE, La. — For the first time during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is providing the exact numbers of ventilators, beds, and intensive care unite (ICU) beds in medical regions across the state which gives a clearer picture of the resources Acadiana hospitals have.
Previously, LDH numbered many coronavirus tests, cases, and deaths that have been confirmed in each parish. We’ve seen those numbers continue to grow, but now we’ll start to see other numbers shrink.
In all of Region 4 (Region 4 includes 7 parishes in the southwest part of the state: Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermillion), there are 1,127 beds in use and 905 available, 95 ventilators in use and 98 are available, but when it comes to intensive care unit beds we are at over 80% current capacity with 134 ICU beds in use and 31 available.
Lafayette Mayor-president Josh Guillory said in Thursday’s press briefing all area hospitals are collaborating to keep medical resources from running out.
“Whether it’s ICU beds, whether it’s ventilators, they are working. As we speak right now I can tell you that they are working hard,” Guillory said.
According to LDH, Acadiana is currently using more of its ICU beds supply (81%) than New Orleans and all of region 1 (79%). Only Baton Rouge and region 2 (85%) are using more.
Governor John Bel Edwards said in his Thursday press briefing, “The modeling that we have right now, for the period of time that’s it’s reliable, doesn’t tell us the next region that will exceed its capacity for beds and ventilators. That’s going to change after the next couple of days”.
According to the governor, his team is surveying multiple facilities in every region for where the next step down facility will be, similar to what’s being done at the New Orleans Convention Center.
“I can imagine that before this over, we are going to have these facilities in all of the really populated areas, so obviously here in Baton Rouge, but obviously over in Lafayette,” admitted Edwards.
Guillory assured Acadiana a plan for these contingencies is already in motion and more information will be given soon, “Let’s be realists. We know the numbers will increase. We’ve said that. We have a plan. We’re executing that plan right now.”
Other things Region Four’s medical professionals have been trying to obtain more of is personal protective equipment (PPE).
LCG shared they’ve spent $30,000-$40,000 combating the coronavirus so far, and most that money has gone toward PPE.
Anyone who has masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, or biohazard bags, is encouraged to donate them at city hall or the Cajundome screening site during operating hours.