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Governor: Louisiana no longer on track to run out of hospital beds, ventilators this week

Governor: Louisiana no longer on track to run out of hospital beds, ventilators this week
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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said Monday that the state is no longer likely to run out of hospital beds before the end of the week, with officials believing the rate of new coronavirus cases is decreasing.

During a press conference, Edwards said Louisiana is "flattening the curve" in terms of the trend of infections.

“We are hopeful we’re starting to see the beginning of flattening the curve,” said the governor. “We have to keep doing everything we’ve been doing to have the best possible outcome.”

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Edwards added that orders implemented by his government would have to continue in order for state health officials to gain control over the disease's spread.

"We've bought ourselves more time that allows us to continue to surge our medical capacity and continue to flatten the curve," he added. "And all of this stuff works in concert. So we've got to keep doing everything that we've been doing to have the best possible outcome."

The state has reported nearly 15,000 cases of the coronavirus, making it one of the nation's major hot spots. More than 500 deaths have been reported, with Edwards telling reporters Monday that around 70 percent have been black patients.

"Disturbingly, this information is going to show you that slightly more than 70 percent of the deaths in Louisiana are of African Americans," he said. "That deserves more attention, and we're going to have to dig in and see what we can do to slow that trend down."

Edwards had previously predicted Sunday that the state could run out of available hospital beds by the end of the week and reach its ventilator capacity on Thursday.

"This is a tough emergency, and it is not different here than elsewhere," he said on CNN's "State of the Union," adding that the state received 200 ventilators from the national stockpile.