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Wed Mar 25, 2020, 05:33 PM

Vice 3/24 - Rate Of COVID Spread Faster In Louisiana Than Anywhere Else On Earth

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In Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas, health officials said COVID-19 patients in their states had recently traveled to New Orleans. “I expect that Bourbon Street is an epicenter of spread of this virus for a lot of the country,” said Michael, a New Orleans emergency physician whose name, like other medical professionals' names throughout this story, has been changed to protect his anonymity for fear of professional repercussions.

Now that the tourists have gone home, COVID-19 has found a fertile breeding ground in Louisiana’s population, which includes the sickest and poorest people in the nation. Heart disease, respiratory conditions, physical disability, diabetes and obesity—all risk factors for death from COVID-19—are more prevalent in Louisiana than in other parts of the country. In New Orleans, many people live in close quarters, making social distancing almost impossible. “People aren’t self-quarantining because they can’t,” said Jason, an emergency department nurse. “[You often see] a big group of people living in a small [space]—usually a grandmother with a child and grandkids… We may fail if we keep going on the current course and if the numbers keep climbing like they do.”

COVID-19 is spreading faster in Louisiana than anywhere else in the world. The Pelican State trails New York and Washington for the highest number of confirmed cases per capita. On March 22, Edwards issued a statewide “stay at home” order, citing fears that the Louisiana health care system could run out of capacity in as short a time as a week. In New Orleans, where most Louisiana cases are concentrated, doctors and nurses think a breakdown might come sooner than that. “Systemic collapse is a true concern,” said Kenneth, a New Orleans emergency physician. “It's not Lord of the Flies today, but our supplies—face masks, personal protective equipment [PPE], gowns, beds and ventilators—are dwindling, and everyone’s getting nervous.”

Kenneth and other emergency department nurses and doctors said their hospitals are at or close to capacity. Because health care infrastructure is sized to meet the population—393,000 people live in Orleans Parish—New Orleans’ soaring caseload could easily overwhelm an already strained system. Right now, doctors are sending home patients who should be in the hospital.

"The hospitalist service has not wanted to admit 'stable' patients with [both COVID-19 and comorbidities like] diabetes," said Michael. "Normally, I'd be screaming that they should be admitted. But the people I admitted [with COVID-19] were sicker.” “The patients we have intubated in the intensive care unit are not able to wean off the vents,” said Jennifer, a registered nurse in an emergency department. “Two hospitals in the region are already out of ventilators. There are no more rooms available. The patients in the emergency department who need to be admitted are just sitting there.”

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https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/7kzjby/covid-19-new-orleans-louisiana-hospitals-coronavirus-emergency

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Reply Vice 3/24 - Rate Of COVID Spread Faster In Louisiana Than Anywhere Else On Earth (Original post)
hatrack Mar 25 OP
Sherman A1 Mar 25 #1
fleur-de-lisa Mar 25 #2

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 05:37 PM

1. Sad

simply Sad.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 05:42 PM

2. Governor John Bel Edwards (D) is talking with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) and others

about using the Morial Convention Center in downtown New Orleans to house patients who are stable enough to leave hospitals but not quite ready to go home.

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