Are Hospitalizations Really Going Up in Shreveport-Bossier?
We're currently 4+ months into a global pandemic and, at the moment, there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. Especially not for Louisiana. According to Governor John Bel Edwards and statewide medical professionals, we're seeing more cases and more hospitalizations now then we ever have. As far as per capita cases go, Louisiana is now number one in the country. As the Governor likes to say (often) "We may be done with COVID, but COVID is not done with us.". And I don't think there's any denying that COVID-19 is a real virus and is affecting a lot of people.
However, during yesterday's COVID-19 update, the Governor said something extremely interesting. John Bel spent several minutes outlining how the virus has infiltrated every community in state and how hospitalizations are increasing in every region of the state. He also stated very plainly that this trend is worrisome to him and it's worrisome to our statewide medical community.
Then, the Governor said that's there is 3 regions where there's major concern of cases potentially overrunning the hospital system: Regions 4, 5 and 6.Outside of New Orleans, those three regions early on in the pandemic, where the hot spots for the state. And seemingly continue to be nearly 5 months in.
This is when things get interesting. Doctor Lowe, one of the lead medical professionals from Acadiana (Region 4), got on the mic to outline the dire situation her medical facility is in and what they're doing to try and reduce the burden on the hospital she works at. She said plainly that COVID-19 was severely impacting the hospital resources at Lafayette General Health where she works. She said due to the lack of resources, she's had to transfer patients to other areas including North Louisiana.
That really stuck out to me. Because when you see the stats released by our local governments and agencies, you can see the hospitalizations climbing up every day. According to a Facebook post by Mayor Adrian Perkins yesterday, our area was at 71% of hospital capacity with a 78% ICU occupancy. Those numbers are high and concerning. But, are those hospitalizations local people or are they people from outside the area? And furthermore, what's the definition of a hospitalization? Is it being admitted? Is it an overnight stay? Because of those people are from outside the area, there's little chance our hospitals could be overrun...because we could just not take more patients for Lafayette or elsewhere. If they're local folks, that's a major red flag that we should maybe start making plans to deal with.
No matter what the answers are, we should all take precautions to take care of ourselves. However, there's a world of difference between being worried about our own health and well being and being worried that our local medical system is going to be overrun and possibly collapse. I don't know the answers to any of these questions and I'm not sure we'll ever get an answer from any local leader.
You can watch the Governor's update for yourself below: