COVID-19 milestone: local hospitals report no new coronavirus patients

BRG, OLOL, Ochsner report no new COVID patients for at least 1 day this week

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - For the first time since the earliest part of the pandemic, Baton Rouge General, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, and Ochsner Medical Center had days this week where they had no new COVID-19 admissions.

As of March 25, there are fewer than 400 people hospitalized across Louisiana for COVID-19.

Dr. Christopher Thomas is the Medical Director of Patient Safety and Quality at Our Lady of the Lake. He said those numbers are encouraging compared to where we were a few months ago, but to have a day where no new patients were admitted is a sign we’re headed in the right direction.

“In the hospital environment, we’re extraordinarily pleased we’re at an opportunity space where we haven’t had an admission in 24 hours,” Dr. Thomas said.

“I had to tap myself and say, is this real,” Monica Nijoka, Baton Rouge General Chief Nursing Officer said.

Doctors credit the zero admissions to people getting vaccinated and following safety measures, such as wearing masks and social distancing.

“We feel very strongly it has to do with the community and the country being vaccinated, along with wearing masks and protecting themselves,” Nijoka said.

Dr. Thomas said the progress does come as a surprise.

“If you would’ve asked me 6 months ago if we would get to a point that we would have zero admissions, I would’ve said no. If you would’ve asked me in March that we would’ve had this many people vaccinated effectively and efficiently, I probably would’ve said no, too,” Thomas said.

However, he believes we’re on the right track.

“So, it gives me hope that a month from now we’re going to be at zero most days if we continue to do the hard work,” Thomas said.

They say the responsibility rests on everyone if we want to see things return back to normal.

“We didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for a long time, but we see light at the end of the tunnel and it’s a great feeling,” Nijoka said.

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