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Louisiana hospitals, already impacted by pandemic, now brace for Delta

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BATON ROUGE - Hospitals across south Louisiana, already handling COVID-19 cases, are now preparing for emergencies related to Hurricane Delta.

With Delta expected to make landfall in Louisiana Friday, at 1 p.m., hospitals are working swiftly to have arrangements in order before the bad weather hits. 

Baton Rouge General (BRG), for example, has organized extra amounts of food and sleeping arrangements should they need to take on patients from other hospitals, in the event of severe weather shuttering hospital services other areas. 

So, medical personnel are prepared to help all kinds of patients during Hurricane Delta, and they're ready to do so with COVID-precautions in place.

Alyson Hughes, the Emergency Management Coordinator at BRG spoke with WBRZ's Nadeen Abusada, describing how the hospital's hurricane procedures have changed since the pandemic.  

"In years past where we were able to offer staff sleeping arrangements in somewhat of a group setting, now we're looking at separating those staff members just to make sure that we're keeping our teams healthy and well," Hughes said. "So, separation is key. But, as far as the things that we've had in place, the PPE, the social distancing, the handwashing, all of those things will continue."

BRG also suggests the public refer to its  Hurricane Preparedness Checklist for guidance on how to prepare for a hurricane. 

Some of that advice includes: 

-Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water and medicines. Remember to stay safe and mask up when shopping for supplies.

-When you check on friends and neighbors, be sure to follow proper social distancing protocols.

-If you need to evacuate, prepare a kit with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can protect you and others from COVID-19, like hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectant wipes, and two masks per person.

-If you will be staying with anyone outside your household to evacuate from the storm, talk to the people you plan to stay with about how you can all best protect yourselves from COVID-19. Follow preventative actions – including covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

Click here for additional information on how to remain safe during bad weather and click here for updates on Hurricane Delta as it advances towards the Gulf Coast. 

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