Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Saturday that Louisiana will receive an additional 200 ventilators from the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile, according to Vice President Mike Pence.
They are expected to arrive soon.
The announcement came as the Louisiana Department of Health announced that the number of coronavirus cases in the state has topped 12,000, with more than 400 related deaths.
“We are grateful to both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for keeping Louisiana at the forefront of this fight against COVID-19 and appreciate them understanding the necessity of these ventilators for the survival of our people, especially in light of today’s sobering numbers,” Edwards said in the press release.
Louisiana has received a total of 553 ventilators since the first confirmed coronavirus case was announced on March 9, Edwards said. So far the state has received 400 ventilators from private vendors, 150 from the national stockpile and three from the Louisiana National Guard.
Edwards and LDH officials have not said how many ventilators the state expects it will need to care for COVID-19 patients, but it has placed orders for more than 14,000-- including 5,000 from the national stockpile.
On Friday, Edwards said New Orleans area hospitals are expected to exceed their ventilator capacity by April 7 and their bed capacity by April 12.
But today he wrote, “...because of these ventilators and the others we are sourcing around the world, we will be able to prolong that inevitable day and have fewer people go with unmet medical needs.”
He urged everyone to comply with the statewide stay at home order in place through the end of the month.
“We know that social distancing efforts work and will in fact flatten the curve. I am imploring all of our people to stay home, slow the spread and save lives.”