New Orleans convention center being turned into coronavirus recovery center

New Orleans convention center being turned into coronavirus recovery center

A temporary hospital is being set up inside a New Orleans convention center in response to the growing number of coronavirus cases in Louisiana, officials announced Sunday. 

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) announced the additional hospital beds were being set up after the officials did a walk-through of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. 

One thousand beds will be set up inside the center by next Sunday to help hospitals with the growing number of COVID-19 patients, Edwards said. 

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“While we are going to be prepared for surge capacity ... it is my hope and my prayer we will not need them,” Edwards said at a press conference announcing the temporary hospital facility. 

The beds inside the convention center will be used for patients transferred from hospitals who do not require a ventilator or ICU bed, in an effort to relieve pressure on hospitals and allow them to turn over their beds more often, Edwards said. 

“When this facility becomes operational nobody is to present here for treatment. Individuals will come here by being transferred from a hospital. There will not be any visitations that take place at this facility,” Edwards said.

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There are 3,540 reported COVID-19 cases and 151 deaths across Louisiana, according to data from the state’s health department.

“We have to work very hard to try and get in front of this virus, because we are playing catch-up, there's no doubt about that, and it moves fast and it can be deadly as we know,” Edwards said. 

Louisiana has the third most cases of any state in the country per capita and the second most deaths per capita of any state, he said. 

“That’s a very disappointing number and we need to get off the trajectory we’re on right now as it relates to case growth and certainly as it relates to deaths across the state of Louisiana,” he added.