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Officials Warn NW Louisiana Facing 3rd Wave Of Covid-19

Courtesy: Mayor Adrian Perkins Facebook

NWLA COVID  3RD WAVE:  There  was  a  gathering of local medical leaders  in downtown Shreveport yesterday afternoon, they joined Shreveport  Mayor Adrian Perkins outside Government Plaza for a press conference, the focus of which was to inform the public of the rise in Coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths  in Northwest Louisiana  as well as the rest of the country.  And with the Thanksgiving day holiday, there is a concern people won’t take Covid-19 precautions seriously and lower their guard.

"We've seen that on holiday weekends or holidays, the numbers go up, " explained Mayor Perkins."And that's something that we absolutely cannot afford at this point."

Credit Courtesy: Mayor Adrian Perkins Facebook
Courtesy: Mayor Adrian Perkins Facebook
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins

Northwest Louisiana has experienced two waves of Covid 19, the first in early May with   224 hospitalizations,   the second wave was in late July and had 299   hospitalizations.  By all accounts Northwest Louisiana is entering a third wave. 

Knox Andress, designated hospital coalition coordinator, Louisiana Department of Health-Region 7 explained "Today November the 23rd, you see that we have 223 covid hospitalizations,

". . . this is our third (Covid-19) peak and the numbers are continuing to rise." Knox Andress, designated hospital coordinator, LDH Region 7

While numbers are often hard to grasp, the rapid increase in Covid-19  inpatients  can  affect  hospital capacity.   Willis-Knighton Health System  Chief Administrative Officer Brian Crawford announced a sobering statistic regarding the surge in local hospitalizations.

Credit Courtesy: Mayor Adrian Perkins Facebook
Courtesy: Mayor Adrian Perkins Facebook
Brian Crawford, CAO for Willis-Knighton Health System

"The increase that we see today at Willis-Knighton Health Systems and throughout our community in northwest Louisiana is a 63% increase over August," Crawford said.

Northwest Louisiana’s Covid-19 testing positivity rate has surged to double-digits in the past few days indicating that more people could require medical attention in the weeks ahead.  To put things in perspective:  Shreveport-Bossier had 183 in-patients last week for COVID-19. By comparison, further south- New Orleans and the Northshore had 100 patients, Monroe had 86 and Baton Rouge had 64.
The rising trend in Covid-19 infections has hospital officials and local leaders concerned that even more infections will occur due to family holiday gatherings. Mayor Perkins encouraged people to follow Covid-19
safety guidelines.

"Please, please, please only gather with immediate family that you're naturally around," Perkins asked. "Please continue to wear a mask if you're out or you're encountering people that you don't typically encounter. Please social distance whenever there's opportunities, wash your hands and all those things that we've been echoing throughout this year."

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.