Gov. Edwards: recent statewide effort to combat COVID 'inadequate'
BATON ROUGE - During a 90-minute press conference Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Louisianans are not doing enough to fight "COVID fatigue" and significant increases in both cases and hospitalizations are the result.
"The mitigation efforts put forth being put forth by the people of Louisiana over the last few weeks are inadequate," Edwards said.
The message Edwards shared Thursday was similar to those from months past when New Orleans was a nationwide hot spot in April and on the verge of exceeding capacity amid the first surge, and again in July as COVID covered the state during the second surge.
"Things are going to get worse before they get better," Edwards said. "But how much worse is up to us, and how soon things get better is up to us."
Health officials said Louisiana had initially avoided the surge much of the country had been seeing. That is no longer the case.
"Luck has run out," Dr. Joseph Kanter, the state's top COVID advisor, said. "This is our third surge, and so people's mindset needs to change. This is an all-hands-on-deck effort."
Dr. Christopher Thomas, who has been treating COVID patients at Our Lady of the Lake for months, said hospitals may run out of staff before they run out of beds.The overwhelming burden and stress of treating virus patients through two previous surges led some to leave the medical profession altogether.
"Our nurses have done an unbelievable job, but they are tired, Thomas said. "Our respiratory therapists have done a fantastic job, but they are tired as well."
With just one week to go until Thanksgiving, Edwards says it is the behavior of residents during the holiday that will have lasting implications going forward into Christmas.
"If you're planning on a Thanksgiving that looks like previous Thanksgivings where you bring extended family, friends, around a common dinner table, you are making a mistake," Edwards said. "It's just a mistake."
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