Medical leaders in Acadiana update on the current COVID-19 wave - Market News
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Medical leaders in Acadiana update on the current COVID-19 wave

Record COVID-19 positivity rate of 14.46% in Kentucky

Medical leaders in Acadiana provided an update on the condition of their facilities and community on Thursday as Louisiana continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases.

dr. Henry Kaufman, Chief Medical Officer at Our Lady of Lourdes, Dr. Amanda Logue, Regional Medical Director at Ochsner Lafayette General and Dr. Tina Stefanski, Region 4 Medical Director of the Office of Public Health were on the call to provide information to the media.

dr. Amanda Logue says Ochsner Lafayette General has seen an increase in hospitalizations at their facilities thanks to the current surge of Omicron in the state. There are currently 111 COVID patients with 20 in the ICU and 12 of those patients on a ventilator.

She says many of the 111 patients came to the hospital for other medical reasons, they also happened to be COVID positive. This is different from previous peaks where people came strictly because of COVID.

Logue says it’s part of their procedure to test every person who comes to the Ochsner facilities for medical treatment.

In contrast to the Delta peak last year, there were 172 patients with COVID at OLGH in August.

dr. Logue says they are not up to the number they saw last year with closed shifts and overloaded facilities and staff.

Hoping they don’t get there, Logue points out that there may be plateaus in new patients admitted with COVID, but it’s too early to say.

The numbers on the ground, she says, are still going up.

186 Ochsner Lafayette General employees are on the road with COVID. The number is higher than any previous increase in all types of healthcare professionals.

Logue says those employees with COVID are returning to work faster than at previous peaks.

The Domingue Recreation Center is open Monday through Friday for COVID-19 testing. Logue says there are 300 tests a day, both PCR and rapid tests.

They have seen a 40 to 50 percent positivity rate.

Ochsner says the people who come by aren’t necessarily sick. Many are tested because of the need to return to work or school.

Officials say vaccines will be offered at all Ochsner locations for all eligible people. Boosters can also scheduled through them on their website.

Ochsner says the vast majority of critically ill patients in their hospitals are not vaccinated. Others who are hospitalized will be vaccinated but will not receive a booster. Those unfortified individuals are older and have comorbidities, Logue said.

The length of stay of vaccinated people is also significantly lower, she says.

dr. Kauffman of Our Lady of Lourdes says admissions are rising, but not at the same level as Ochsner.

60 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized on their main campus. Across the system, 71 COVID patients are registered. There is 1 child in childcare.

Kaufman noted that the numbers are lower because patients who come in for reasons other than COVID are not tested for the virus unless they have symptoms. He says that is being done to keep tests available.

Currently 9 patients are in the ICU and 6 are on ventilators. There have been 6 deaths recorded in hospital from COVID, he says.

Kaufman says 70 percent of patients seeking care in Lourdes for COVID have not been vaccinated.

Kaufman says with COVID infections increasing this week, they expect to be above the hospital by August 2021.

At the time, there was considerable pressure on hospitals.

Kaufman says elective surgical procedures are being reduced and adjustments are also being made to their plan to accommodate the surgery. He argues that other restrictions will have to apply as the number of cases increases.

The number of employees who are absent is significantly less than in previous waves of COVID-19. Lourdes did not extradite a number of employees.

dr. Tina Stefanski says that in this 5th wave of COVID, Omicron is the dominant variant.

Stefanski says the virus is highly contagious, but less virulent. Despite this, she says that Omicron is still sending people to the hospital.

To protect health, staff and schools, Stefanski says the community must take simple but effective measures against the virus.

  • Get vaccinated and get a boost.
  • mask
  • Test for COVID
  • Avoid collecting in large numbers

dr. Stefanski also mentioned the lack of therapies in the state to fight COVID. Medications, oral antiviral medications and monoclonal infusions are in short supply, Stefanski said.

When asked how the area should approach Mardi Gras this year with the COVID surge, the group agreed that any event has the potential to be a super spreader in the community.

They recommend wearing a mask when you get together with people outside your family circle.

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