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Memorial Hospital prepares for COVID surge

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 11:39 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The staff at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital said they are feeling the heat as the Delta variant spreads like wildfire.

Just when we thought we saw the light at the end of the tunnel, the number of newly infected coronavirus cases rapidly increased due to the highly contagious Delta variant. Officials at Memorial Hospital explain that this time, they are more prepared.

Director of emergency management, Scott Kyle, said Memorial Hospital is dealing with the latest COVID-19 surge.

“On Monday, we went ahead and opened our emergency operation center after being closed for a little bit, due to the uptick in cases,” Kyle said.

He said they are staying one step ahead. Preparations for a potential surge began before the latest increase in cases.

“It gives us the opportunity with our emergency operation center to get a daily rundown of where we are with those different items, like if we’re having staffing issues, or if we’re having PPE issues, so we meet with our directors daily,” Kyle said.

COVID testing sites averaged about 10 tests per day, according to Regional Medical Director Lacey Cavanaugh. Now, testing sites are averaging 100 tests per day.

“With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and the increasing demand in testing, we have relocated that site here to the emergency room to try and help with the testing demand that has been here,” Cavanaugh said.

Cavanaugh said it is going to take going back to mitigation efforts and the vaccine to get the amount of cases under control.

“I know nobody wants to hear it, but it is what will help us get the current spike under control,” Cavanaugh said. “The other thing that we can do which we did not have the last time we had a big spike like this, we have a vaccine that is safe and effective and widely available.”

The testing site is available free of charge in the emergency room parking lot. It’s open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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