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."
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,
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.
"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
"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."