La. sees fewest people hospitalized with COVID-19 since June

State sees lowest COVID-19 hospitalization numbers since June

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - On Tuesday, Sept. 22, there was some positive news in Louisiana when it comes to the state’s fight against COVID-19.

The governor announced during a press conference held Tuesday that the state has seen the fewest number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 since June.

“You’d have to go back to early June before we had this few of people in the hospital, and that’s a good thing,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

While you can sometimes get lost in the numbers, with 571 people hospitalized with COVID in our state as of Tuesday, September 22, the numbers in this case, appear to be on the right track.

“If you go back to just over a month ago, August 31st, we had more than a 1000 people hospitalized. So, we have made considerable progress,” said Edwards.

While we still aren’t at the finish line yet, it’s a big sign of just how far we’ve come.

Our Lady of the Lake, Ochsner Baton Rouge, and Baton Rouge General all say they’re seeing their lowest number of people hospitalized with the virus in months, but they’re urging people to not let their guard down just yet.

“Our numbers are not at the lowest we’ve seen here at Our Lady of the Lake, but they have trended towards where our lowest have been,” said Dr. Christopher Thomas, Medical Director of Patient Safety and Quality at Our Lady of the Lake.

“Sort of peaked in late July-August, and then as we got into September, that peak kind of came down,” said Dr. Ralph Dauterive, VP of Medical Affairs at Ochsner Baton Rouge.

In fact, here are the numbers at the big three hospitals here in the Capital City as of Tuesday, September 22.

OLOL has the lowest number of people in their hospital for COVID since early June.
OLOL has the lowest number of people in their hospital for COVID since early June. (Source: WAFB)

And Ochsner officials say they peaked with patients back in April.

“And what you’re seeing now is the natural course of the pandemic, where there’s just sort of this gradual roll of the virus through the population,” said Dr. Dauterive.

This downtime if that’s what you’d like to call it, is giving nurses and doctors a small window to regroup.

“We see the opportunity to back down in the number of COVID units, to give some of our teams who are exhausted a break, to be honest,” said Dr. Thomas.

And now with all the experience, new treatments, and much more, these healthcare heroes say they are better prepared if we would possibly see another wave of the virus hit.

“I’m optimistic. I don’t think we’re going to have another big spike. Because even if you’re looking at the surges we’re seeing in Lake Charles, Alexandria and Shreveport, these places that didn’t see that big spike initially, their surge isn’t as significant as the ones we saw in New York and New Orleans, and Miami. You know, the areas that really had the big peaks,” said Dr. Dauterive with Ochsner.

Both of these doctors saying that these numbers are proof that the mitigation measures are working, like wearing a mask and keeping your distance.

They also recommend you get your Flu shot this season, because we know both COVID and the Flu have similar symptoms.

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