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OLOL doctor encourages safer habits as coronavirus hospitalizations increase

1 week 20 hours 46 minutes ago Monday, June 29 2020 Jun 29, 2020 June 29, 2020 5:16 PM June 29, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Health released the latest COVID-19 numbers on Monday, showing hospitalizations are up at a total of 737.

Hospitalizations are one of the key metrics tracked by the state. It can show a dire situation of hospitals running out of room. That's not the case in Baton Rouge, although doctors are concerned about such a high number of young people being found to have coronavirus.

“We admitted some 20 and 30-year-old’s last week, but the majority of our patients were 50 and 60-year-old’s. I would have expected it to be the 60 to 80-year old population,” Dr. Catherine O’Neal with Our Lady of the Lake said.

Last week was the first time in a while OLOL saw an increase in hospitalizations, raising concern.

“We operate in Baton Rouge at full capacity all of the time. We don't have extra beds to put people in. So if we see an increase of people coming into the hospital now what we'll have to do is make beds,” O’Neal said.

That would require putting off other surgeries to make room. But Dr. O’Neal says there is a way to avoid overwhelming the hospitals.

“What we're trying to encourage people to do is to stop being as social,” O’Neal said. “We see people saying my COVID contact is a niece, a person who lives with us that got it at work, going to a party, going to a baby shower, or going to a bar. Lots of social interactions that are causing a spread in the community."

Dr. O’Neal says she doesn’t know how long it would have to last, but adopting a new way of living is essential right now.

“It's not living indoors, but it's living more safely. If we do that then I think we can tolerate this,” she said.

Louisiana officials have completed about 700,000 tests. Monday’s test results are from people who visited testing locations between last Monday, June 22, and Sunday, June 28.

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