The coronavirus outbreak has landed in New Orleans. Governor John Bel Edwards advises federal officials the NOLA area is bound to run out of healthcare supplies within the first few days of April.
Edwards wrote in a letter, sent to President Trump Monday, asking for a Major Disaster Declaration and federal funding to be sent to Louisiana. The state currently holds one of the highest rates of the virus spread per person in the U.S.
Edwards writes, "With our current rate of new virus cases, our hospital current capacity to successfully treat infected patients will be exceeded. For the New Orleans area," he continued. "The current projections of hospitalizations significantly exceed capacity beginning April 4, 2020."
Bel Edwards, along with his projection, has issued a Stay-At-Home order for all 4.6 million Louisiana residents, one which went into effect yesterday evening. As the state clambers for healthcare resources, such as protective gear for workers, ventilators and more hospital beds, Edwards hopes his order will be heeded.
While the amount of cases is ever-increasing, Edwards explains, "We only have 381 ICU beds available. The state is still unaware of how many cases they expect.
To combat the persisting uptick in patients coming into hospitals, and therefore the degradation of supplies, Edwards and his administration have started efforts to construct hotels, which would offer bedding for patients. Also, Louisiana has also introduced isolation sites at three state parks, which can hold more than 300 patients, including the homeless.
Last week, Edwards delivered a similar warning to President Trump, while on a call with the White House and other governors. He noted that the NOLA area was destined to near capacity in weeks. Edwards did not produce the data used for such a hypothesis, and instead referred to it as a "worst-case scenario."
In recent days - Edwards has been projecting the trajectory of Louisiana's case, noting it is on par with Italy, where thousands have died and hospitals overcapacity.
Christina Stephens, a spokeswoman for the governor, explains Trump has already delivered similar Major Disaster Declaration requests for California, Washington, and New York -- none of whom will run out of supplies by April 4. Of course, this leaves us with much to think about, regarding New Orleans' place in the world.