Hospitalizations are on the rise in all areas of Louisiana, with strains on capacity particularly in three regions: Lafayette, Lake Charles and Central Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards said during a Thursday afternoon news conference.
Edwards said that some hospitals have had to put elective procedures on hold to create more capacity to treat Covid-19 patients.
Dr. Amanda Logue, chief medical officer of Lafayette General Health, said her hospital system has put elective procedures on hold to create more beds as they are "quickly running out of space."
The hospital system has had to decline 87% of transfer requests this month and has had to transfer some of their own patients as far away as Mississippi because they can't treat them, Logue said at the news conference.
They also don't have enough staffing to meet the capacity needs, as some have fallen ill, she added.
"Some of our beds are unfortunately closed because of illnesses to our staff. So we've had some nurses. We don't have enough nurses to staff all of our beds right now," Logue said.
Logue said the hospital will continue to treat all emergency patients but is unable to do elective procedures.
Dr. Henry Kaufman, chief medical officer for Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, said his hospital is also having issues with capacity due to staffing needs.
"The problem isn't needing more space, it's having enough people to staff the beds and keep the nurses healthy," he said.
Kaufman said the intensive care unit at his hospital system is "near complete capacity."
He said he is also concerned that the delaying of elective surgeries has already had impacts on the community, as mammograms, recommended bypasses, and other procedures have been put on hold.
"I am still dealing with the aftermath of people presenting with the later stages of disease during our first wave of Covid cases," Kaufman said. "I have women who have weren't able to get their mammogram during the first wave and finally were able to get it, and likely presented with a later stage of disease and they would have otherwise."
Some context: Louisiana crossed the 100,000 case mark Thursday when 2,408 new cases were reported. The state now has 101,650 Covid-19 cases.
Roughly 91% of the new cases reported were community spread and 33% of the cases were identified in people age 29 and under, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.