Gov. Edwards: Number of patients in hospital higher today than peak of summer surge

Gov. Edwards: Number of patients in hospital higher today than peak of summer surge

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards held a news conference Thursday to address Louisiana’s rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The governor explained that there are more people in the hospital today than there were at the height of the summer surge. He added that there is a possibility another surge will come after Christmas.

PRESS CONFERENCE: La. will stay in modified Phase 2 for 21 more days

“You cannot test your way into a safe Christmas holiday,” he stressed.

The entire state has been placed in the high risk category. The modified Phase 2 restrictions are set to expire next week. Governor Edwards said he does not anticipate reducing any restrictions, but will hold a press conference to discuss what he plans to do next.

FULL VIDEO: Gov. Edwards discusses arrival of COVID-19 vaccine, state's response to rising cases

Between 125,000 and 135,000 frontline healthcare personnel will be the first people in the state to receive the vaccine, Gov. Edwards said. Doctors, nurses, as well as hospital food service workers and custodial staff, will be included in that group.

Edwards says the state hopes to vaccinate 160,000 people in the first priority group comprised of people who work in hospitals and nursing homes, by the end of December. There are around 200,000 to 215,000 people who make up that first group.

A second COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the biotechnology company Moderna, which will first be distributed to the state’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities, could also be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Thursday.

Friday, Louisiana learned that its second federal allocation of Pfizer vaccine will be 28,275 doses. This is lower than what had originally been projected for us to receive in our second federal allocation, but by next week, we should have received a total of 67,275 doses of the vaccine in the state, which will be used for frontline health care personnel.

So far, this week, hospital systems already have administered at least 11,498 doses of the vaccine, and they continue to work on the process of vaccinating their team members. We are committed to using every last dose of vaccine allocated to Louisiana.

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