LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter says he never wants to incite hysteria. But he says, “We can’t avoid the facts.”
The chief medical officers of two local hospitals say the area has seen a dramatic increase in COVID-19. They discussed the situation in a public service video with the mayor.
Many people would like to think it’s over, but according to the local medical experts COVID-19 hospitalizations are double what they were in April, when many thought it was the height of the pandemic.
They urge the public to help the area change direction.
"We've had a dramatic increase over about the past fourteen days. Our previous high was in mid-April and we've already surpassed that, as of today, so we've got more patients in the hospital here at our facility and in the region as a whole than we did back in April when this all started," said Dr. Tim Haman, of Christus Ochsner Lake Area Hospital.
“We had our original peak back first week in April, and we too have surpassed it in the last week to ten days. We’ve had the highest volume of COVID patients that we have had during this pandemic,” Dr. Manley Jordan, of Lake Charles Memorial said.
"The prior peak for Region 5, back in April, was 46 patients in the hospital. As of today, we have 91," said Haman, on Monday. By Tuesday it was up to 102.
Though the hospitals are not yet at capacity, the doctors say they could become overwhelmed if the trajectory continues upward. Again, they urge everyone to social distance and wear masks.
“It truly will save lives, so I implore the public to do this because we need it. Our health care workers need it. We are getting to the point that we’re being close to being overwhelmed and we need this part of the team to help us,” said Jordan.
“We are approaching the situation we’re seeing in other cities like San Antonio and Houston where the health care system is on the verge of being overwhelmed. I mean we still have capacity; we’re still taking care of both COVID and non COVID patients, but if this trend continues, we may be in trouble soon,” said Haman.
The doctors and mayor urge people to take the situation seriously and do their part to stop the spread. To listen to the entire conversation between the mayor and doctors click here.