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tv   Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards Holds Coronavirus Briefing  CSPAN  March 27, 2020 12:02am-12:54am EDT

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if somebody wants to come up to the floor, they can't be sitting next to each other, and we have to clean the area where they are. we want to make sure we are providing the health for everybody else inside to make sure the government is working. so, there will be more than enough. more than enough time to debate. it should not delay to get to the president's desk this week. announcer: the housemates at 9:00 a.m. eastern to consider the economic aid package. follow live coverage on c-span. , governor john bel edwards provides an update on the coronavirus outbreak in louisiana, where there has been a 28% increase in confirmed cases. from baton rouge, this is just under one hour. announcer: -- gov. edwards: good afternoon.
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thanks everyone for joining in today. earlier today, i participated in , telephone conference actually, a video conference with the white house coronavirus task force, with the vice president participating in that meeting, with also the president. we were able to visit with him. and also, earlier this morning, i had the opportunity to have a phone call with secretary of the veterans administration, robert wilke, and renewed our request that we forwarded through fema for supplemental assistance from the v.a. potentially with respect to surge capacity of hospitals here in louisiana, looking primarily towards new orleans. and last night, i was able to have a conversation with fema administrator, pete gainer, on the most pressing needs we have in louisiana, all of which relate to our surge capacity. principally, as i mentioned to you yesterday, those being ventilators. also, p.p.e. and other requests.
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i am pleased to announce -- and in fact, the president announced this during the call with all 50 governors today -- and just as an aside, we have 55 governors because of territories. i think we had about 50 governors on the call today. but the president announced that he had granted our request related to two 250-bed federal field hospitals. now, these are basically beds and i.v. poles. by beds, i am talking about primarily cots. they do not, themselves, come with the personnel to run those hospital beds. but in addition, they'll send one public health service strike team of 60 individuals. so these are doctors and nurses who will be able to help us to create surge capacity.
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and one c.d.c. epidemiology team, we had previously, i think, told you all that team would be coming to louisiana. all of these assets and personnel should be in louisiana soon, and i want to thank the president and our federal partners for this very important assistance. we are certainly grateful for their support. so we are going to add these resources into our plans for medical surge. and i am going to speak more about medical surge in just a moment. we continue to review the relief bill. i think they're calling it basically phase three of the coronavirus relief package that the president and congress has been working on for some time. that bill did pass the senate. it is our expectation that it will pass the house tomorrow and be signed into law tomorrow night. so we continue to look at all of those provisions to see what funding, assistance, flexibility that we can bring to bear in louisiana just as soon as
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possible. just an update on the national guard, we currently have 955 soldiers and airmen overall from the national guard who are involved in our response to the covid-19 public health emergency. of that number, 667 are traditional national guardsmen, soldiers, and airmen who have been mobilized specifically for this emergency. they are doing various things around the state of louisiana, including supporting testing sites in new orleans and in jefferson and in other areas in south louisiana. they are transporting critical needs. they're maintaining and operating the warehouse and doing various other things that are critically important in this public health emergency. as you can see from the screen my left, your right, the numbers
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we have today are once again very staggering. i hope the entire state of louisiana is looking at these numbers, and that they are as concerned about them as i am. since yesterday, we have received 510 new confirmed cases of covid-19 for a total of 2,305 cases statewide. that is a 28% increase from yesterday. there are, unfortunately, 18 new deaths since yesterday, which makes 83 deaths total. that is obviously very tragic. for those people who think that this is really just a problem for urban louisiana, new orleans, jefferson parish, for example, we now have positive cases in 53 of our 64 parishes. so nobody, nobody should look at
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this situation and think, "oh, this doesn't involve me. this doesn't involve my town. this doesn't involve my parish." and i am encouraging everyone, no matter who you are or where you live, to understand that this coronavirus is in your neighborhood. it is spreading throughout the state of louisiana. there is no place where it isn't. there are some places where we haven't detected it yet through a positive test result. it is all the way across our state. and so, when we have statewide mitigation measures in place, they apply to everyone, and i urge everyone to take them very, very seriously. and it's quite frankly the case that the life you save could be your own, and all that you have to do to save lives is stay home, minimize your contact, follow social distancing, as we've been talking about. one very disturbing piece of
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information related to the fatalities that we're reporting today is that we learned that one of those deaths is a 17-year-old young person from new orleans. there is an investigation undergoing by the coroner now. i don't have any information as to whether this individual had underlying chronic health conditions or not. but it does illustrate the point that everyone is at risk. it might be the case that those most at risk are those 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions, but there is some percentage of the population, regardless of age and regardless of their health, who are at risk of having a very serious and severe complications related to this disease and that includes death. -- related to this disease, and that includes death. nobody should assume that this disease will not severely impact them or have the potential to kill them.
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this virus knows no limits when it comes to age, race, gender, background, your social status, your whatever. it really doesn't discriminate. so i am, again, urging everyone, regardless of who you are and where you live, to take this very, very seriously. with every passing day, doctors and scientists are learning more and more about this virus. they're learning more and more about this disease and how it impacts people. but we know enough already to know that people need to follow the stay-at-home order that we've given. we know that people need to practice social distancing. it is of the utmost importance. as of today, we are currently tied with new jersey for number
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two in cases per capita in the united states of america. we are tied for number two in the entire united states of america with new jersey when it comes to cases per capita. if we don't flatten the curve and do it soon, as i mentioned yesterday, we could be out of ventilators in region one, the new orleans area, by as early as april 2. and we would potentially be out of bed space for individuals by about april 7. there's simply not enough health not enoughmply are
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health care resources to care for all those who will need care if we continue to develop cases at our current pace. if we don't slow the spread of this virus, if we don't slow the spread of these cases, this is what's going to happen. it's not conjecture. this isn't some flimsy theory. this isn't a scare tactic. this is what's going to happen. every single person has to take social distancing and my stay-at-home order seriously. there's been a lot of discussion about medical surge, where they -- the stand up facility in the new orleans area, particularly around the earnest m. moorehouse convention center in new orleans, and setting up a facility there. yes, we are in the processing of signing the necessary contracts to stage 1,120 beds at the convention center initially. the first beds will be ready -- the first 120 beds will be
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ready this weekend with the rest coming along in the week. we're executing the contracts for the wrap-around services to include staffing for that facility. we will have the ability to scale more beds over the next couple of weeks if we see that that is necessary. and obviously, we are watching that curve to know what we can expect in that area. i've heard a lot of discussion about different options for where we would place these hospital beds. and trust me, we've done an exhaustive survey of all the different facilities and hotels and dorm rooms and where we think we can do this with the most efficiency and have the best possible impact on delivering health care to the individuals who are going to need it. there are obviously pros and cons to every option, but the most important thing, because one of the hardest things we are going to have to solve is the
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staffing, and quite simply, it's easier to staff a single large facility than it is multiple smaller facilities. and the layout of the convention center is near ideal when it comes to staging the beds there in the wings of 120. -- these wings of 120. obviously, it's not an easy call to make, but the projections show we're going to need potentially 1,000 or more hospital beds in the new orleans region by about the 8th, 9th, 10th of april. and that depends what the data points are over the next few days as they come in. that's the trajectory we're on. what concerns me, these are the same dates we have been talking about the last three, four days. and the simple reason for that, we have yet to start flattening the curve. i want everyone to know that in addition to this capacity, we're surging capacity within our existing footprint of hospitals,
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not just in the new orleans region, but around the state. this is not complete, but i will tell you that oxnard l.s.u. health is expanding by 96 i.c.u. beds. lcmc in by 97 beds. baton rouge, by 75 beds. baton rouge general is adding both regular, inpatient hospital beds by 34 i.c.u. beds and 229 in-patient beds. these things are being done in phases. some of those are coming online very quickly. others within a couple of weeks. and others within about a month or so. but all of it is critically important, because those obviously who are most severely impacted by this disease will need and i.c.u. bed. they are going to need a ventilator. so increasing our capacity here is incredibly important.
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in addition to this work, we're identifying all of the capacity we have at tier two hospitals across the state of louisiana and just for illustrative purposes in the new orleans region, in region 1, there are approximately 172 of these beds. and then we are working, as i mentioned before, to try to get an arrangement with the v.a. hospital, most especially in new orleans in the short term, to see what surge capacity they may have so they can take some of our patients, as well. i actually was very gratified today in the call that without my prompting, the president called on me to report about what our needs were, and before i could give an answer, he asked me about whether we thought we would need the v.a. hospital in new orleans at surge capacity. i confirmed i thought we would. so i know this is receiving the
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required attention at the highest levels in our federal government. i really appreciate him for understanding what our situation is here in louisiana and doing what he can as our federal partner to assist with what we're trying to stand up here in louisiana when it comes to our medical surge capacity. now, i have spent a lot of time how we're surging in louisiana with respect to our medical capacity. and we are working around the clock nonstop to do that. the average person in louisiana doesn't really have a role to play in how we surge. but you have a tremendous role to play in determining the degree to which we have to surge and the time within which we have to do it in order to meet the need, because if you will do what is within your power to slow the spread of this virus, to slow the spread of this disease, we won't need to surge as much or as fast.
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and you literally have it within the power of yourself to say it could be your own, it might be -- to save lives, it could be your own, it might be your spouses, it could be your parents, it could be your next door neighbor, but you have it within your power the opportunity to save lives if you will simply minimize the contact that you have with other people. and i know it's hard. it's both simple on the one hand and it's hard on the other. it's not how we are're -- how we are accustomed to living. but those are the facts. i also want to point out that we are seeing a troubling sign in northwest louisiana. we typically look at our state, and we look down in the new orleans and jefferson parish area. new orleans, i think, is almost at 1,000 cases. 997 cases.
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right next door in jefferson parish, 458. we say, well, that's the hot spot. just a few days ago, there were only a handful of cases in shreveport, cado parish, and bosier. you can look now, we have 115 cases and 32. think back, it wasn't that long ago, those were the kind of numbers we were seeing out of new orleans and jefferson parish. so, again, this illustrates the point. this is a statewide problem. and nobody should be thinking that they're not at risk. and that this doesn't involve them. so, to my fellow louisianans, if you find this briefing startling and unsettling, if you think it is a situation that i'm describing that you want to avoid, understand, we can't
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-- we can avoid it. it is entirely within our power to avoid it. but we got to have more compliance. and by the way, i want to thank all of the individuals,ing the -- all of the individuals, the leaders, the political leaders, the business leaders, the faith leaders who are doing so much to promote compliance. and those individuals out there who are complying. but we're not doing as well as we should. not when we know what is coming down the road in the not-too-distant future if we don't do better. so i am urging everyone to do what you can. and be selfless. be a good neighbor. think about that health care worker. who is already performing heroically. but why would you want to increase their workload, increase the people with whom they're going to have to be exposed? why would you want to take the chance on bringing it home?
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so while we left essential businesses open so that people can go to the grocery store and to the pharmacy and to the bank and to the gas station, you don't have to go every day. you don't have to do those things every day. because of the critical need for health care workers, we've created a medical volunteer website in order to mobilize health care students and graduates from louisiana universities and colleges to support the existing health care workforce that is quickly getting stretched thin. this website is also available to active members or retirees of louisiana's health care workforce who are willing and able to assist, and we're asking volunteers of all medical backgrounds to sign up. this is really important, because in addition to
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ventilators and p.p.e., really, the most critical thing we need in order to increase our surge capacity are the medical professionals, the doctors and the nurses, the respiratory therapists and all of the other allied health care professionals. we need volunteers. so if you are qualified and able and willing, first of all, i'm imploring you to volunteer. secondly, you can do so by visiting and i want to thank everyone involved with making this possible. i want to thank those who have already volunteered. we will have all of these links and phone numbers on our website, by the way, which is just a reminder, for those of you who are filing for
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unemployment benefits, in order to receive weekly unemployment benefits, you are going to have to satisfy. it is a legal requirement that you satisfy that you are still unemployed. you have to do it once a week. and you have to be unemployed due to covid-19 in order to get unemployment benefits. those weekly certifications must be filed by sunday of each week you are unemployed. think of the weekly certification as filling out a weekly time sheet. you just have to do it every week. it allows the workforce commission to know on a week-to-week basis that your employment situation has not changed. despite the dire circumstances we face, i do remain hopeful, and in fact, optimistic, that with greater compliance to the stay-at-home order, to the social distancing measures we have put in place, and to people just exercising good common sense, and that people are going
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to be motivated by just the desire to be good neighbors to one another, that we are going to start to flatten the curve and that we are going to start seeing that in the very near future. because our future, from where we are today, with the curve that we are on, is not promising. we will gladly accept help, both human and divine, so i'm asking people to continue, in addition to working, to make sure that we do better, that they pray that we will do better, as well. there's no doubt there's daylight at the end of the tunnel, but we're not close enough, yet, to see it. now more than ever, we need people to stay home, slow the spread, and save lives. i am going to take questions. i will remind you that as we have every single day, i want to thanked him and -- want to thank
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him and all of the people at the office of public health, really, all the people statewide who are working so hard on this, both at the state level and at the local level, but we have the doctor here to answer questions as they may relate specifically to testing. i want to thank him personally. and i want to thank those health care workers who continue to perform heroically across the state of louisiana. and i know that they are getting tired. but the fact of the matter is, we have a long way to go. so we're going to continue to encourage them and support them as best we can. >> governor, you seem concerned about the lack of compliance not being where you want it to be. yet there are large gatherings, sometimes at churches, and law enforcement are reluctant to break these up. when will that happen? look, i said this before, and it remains the safe. we have 4,500 churches. we have tens of thousands of
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people. -- thousands of businesses. the people of louisiana need to say we are not going to enforce our way through this. people need to comply. and if you have a pastor who is going to continue to have gatherings and services at church, then i'm calling upon the parishioners, the congress -- the congregants, not to go. everybody has a decision to be -- a decision to make here. and i'm calling upon leaders to be leaders. yes, ma'am. >> governor, the tone seems a little harsher today. is there something in particular about compliance that has become a worry in addition to what you -- ? gov. edwards: it's just the numbers. every day that we stay on our current trajectory is a day we know leads us towards an outcome that we all want to avoid. and i'm trying to stress to the people of louisiana, it is an outcome that we can avoid.
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if we will practice social distancing and observe the mitigation measures that are in place. we will flatten the curve. we know it works, but it only works to the extent that we actually engage in the process and honor those mitigation measures and comply. and so, i'm just trying to do what i can to impress upon the people of louisiana the importance of doing this and the importance of doing it now, because i suspect there are people out there who are -- it's kind of human nature. you see things happening. you say, well, that's somebody else's problem. i need all the other people to comply, but i don't necessarily have to do it myself. well, that's just wrong. this is -- this is for every single person in louisiana. yes, sir. >> governor, it might be repetitious. but what's known as the italian lesson, what they didn't learn is now being coined the louisiana lesson because we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing.
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so my question is, maybe not churches, but where people congregate at the l.s.u. lakes, maybe reports of way too many people not being distant. parks in new orleans. would you have people going to those areas and try to patrol them somehow? anything to that nature? gov. edwards: we have law enforcement that are, when they see obvious violations, they are stopping, reminding people. they are dispersing crowds. in those situations, people are doing what they're being asked to do at that moment by law enforcement agencies -- sorry -- law enforcement agents. that's happening for the most part. my message is to all of the people of louisiana, no matter where they happen to be. and that is that they need to take this seriously. we can do a better job. there's a lot of compliance out there, too. there really is. there's a lot of compliance out there, but we can do better, and we need to do better, and we
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need to do better now, because quite frankly, it takes six or seven days, i think is what dr. burkes said today, from an exposure to the virus to when we'll see symptoms and a positive test. we should because when we instituted these mitigation measures, we should start seeing that curve flatten if we're doing a good enough job. and we have not started to see it yet. but andre, my point is to the people of louisiana, don't just sit out there and say, "oh, yeah, there's this virus circulating. that's going to be somebody else's challenge. they'll surge the medical capacity, so we don't have anything to worry about." we cannot surge the capacity to meet the needs if we don't bend the curve. we cannot. now, i don't accept that we are italy, because we haven't gotten to that point yet. and if we will start to bend the curve now, we won't.
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but i have said it from the very beginning, there is no reason why the things that you see coming out of italy wouldn't happen here in louisiana if people don't engage seriously in these mitigation measures. so my messaging on that has remained entirely consistent. the good news is, we still have time to do it, to make a tremendously positive difference in the outcome, but we just need to make sure that people are taking this seriously and doing that. yes, sir. >> governor, can you talk more about the field hospitals versus the convention center, what types of patients will be going to those facilities? and also, it seems like we're getting more resources as the numbers continue to put us on the same chart, is that more or less where we are at right now? gov. edwards: so it was just at noon today when we it was just 250 bedwe got word that field medical stations are on
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route to louisiana, and 60 medical personnel. doctors and nurses. we are planning how best to integrate those asset into our surge plan. i cannot tell you where they'll go exactly right now, but as we develop that, we will let you know. i can only tell you that both of those will be very important. the beds and especially the people. and your second question was what? >> it seems like we're starting to get more beds and more resources, but you still have the same projection for us running out of beds. we are getting more resources, but the numbers keep increasing? day after day, we stay on the same trajectory. we know when we run out of beds, based on our ability to surge within our existing footprint as we are doing with the hospitals, as we surge to tier 2, as we
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surge outside of the region this -- that's principally affected. and use the available beds in other regions. we know that we are still on the path to exceed what those capacities are, that's why we have to have additional surge. it looks like the v.a. hospital. looks like the convention center. and it looks like the 60-person strike team that the u.s. public health service is sending down here, but all of that together isn't enough if we don't get off this curve. we can move more of these wings, 120-bed wings into the convention center. and we will if we have to. but staffing those beds becomes very, very problematic. >> this afternoon, governor abbott in texas issued an
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executive order ordering any travelers going to texas from new orleans to self-quarantine for 14 days. kind of what dr. birx said yesterday about new york city. what's your response to that? gov. edwards: i can't say that's inappropriate. we saw that coming out of new york city, it has to do with the amount of spread in the new york city area. the per capita case count in new york is actually higher than it is in louisiana. but we're close enough, second, along with new jersey, and by the way, new york and new jersey -- that's kind of one large metropolitan area, where i cannot say that that's inappropriate. i would hope that what governor abbott is doing in texas would reinforce my message here in louisiana about the immediate to stay at home. -- about the need to stay at home. because that principally is what quarantining is. and i'm asking people to stay at home, as well. so hopefully, his messaging goes along with mine and just reinforces the importance of this. and the importance of doing it
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now, by the way. yes, ma'am. >> on the discussion of the strike team and epidemiological team, can you talk more about what those teams are supposed to do, what they're supposed to focus on, and when you talk about setting up field hospitals and the surge capacity, does louisiana have enough medical health professionals to staff spaces if they are being filled up? gov. edwards: the answer to the last question is it will be very, very difficult to staff all of the beds that we will need if we stay on our current trajectory. it is the principal reason why we need to get off that trajectory. not just the staffing, but the ventilators and so forth. very, very difficult. with respect to the epidemiological team, i'm going to let the doctor provide more -- provide a more detailed answer in just a moment, but
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principally they come the c.d.c. and in this case upon our request, in order to help us with the work that we need to do around several locations across the state where we have clusters, so that they can better help us deal with that, and then you asked a three-part question, i'm sorry. also -- it was also the same idea about the strike team. what does the strike team specifically do? what is its focus? gov. edwards: ideally, we would have received enough personnel to administer all the beds we requested. we actually had requested four 250-person field medical stations. enough for 1,000. what we were granted were two, so that's 500, and i don't know whether the normal numbers for 500 beds or 60 personnel above what we got or 60 personnel. this announcement came so i
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can't answer -- >> staff for field hospitals? gov. edwards: yes. we determine now where we want to set the field hospital up. is it something we do at the convention center or somewhere else? we're working on that right now. this was just announced at lunchtime today. but it becomes part of our surge. and by the way, it's a capacity that we didn't have before it was granted. so we're very, very thankful for that, and doctor, if you'd come and address. if you've got testing questions, go ahead and ask while he's up here. >> we have a small, but mighty team at the office of public health that leads our epidemiological effort. normally, they are working on outbreaks throughout the state, and what's going on now is -- obviously, the volume of work they're having to do is changing the way that they are doing their processes, so the specific
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request we had for the c.d.c. was to send experts to come down and give us guidance and ideas on how we can adjust the work that they're doing, being prepared for scale. we've moved from having, you know, one cluster in the state in a nursing home to now having six. and we fully expect, unfortunately, that that will continue to ex-pant. -- to expand. we want to make sure we're still iclivering the key epidemiology evidence that we need to understand how this disease is continuing to spread. meeting best practices. the c.d.c. are experts at that. and helping us adapt our practices, being prepared for having to work at a different scale. we tried to add to that team as well as take some of the other work off that team and have them laser focused on core work which is identifying clusters and communicating the best ways to isolate and protect people in the state. but we anticipate that in the coming days, if this trajectory continues, that will be increasingly difficult. we're fortunate and grateful that the c.d.c. is sending a team to help us gentleman just not only overall, but specifically for us to be planning on how wing more
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-- on how we manage more clusters across the state going forward as well. >> as far as testing, can you talk about the turnaround, getting these tests back? the new cases released today at noon, when were those tests done, kind of the turnaround and then the process of notifying parish physicians and the health department? keep in mind, there are sort of testing in the state. there's those that come to the state lab for testing. these are individuals in a hospital, potentially in a nursing facility, as well. as well as first responders and our health care workers. two critically important groups of individuals we want to keep on the frontlines. those come to the state labs. when we hear about drive-up testing centers, walk-up centers or even just testing centers in clinics, those are being done by labs like labcorpses and quests and quests and others. those are taking about six day, we have seen some improvement in
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that number as they're better able to manage their processing. maybe down to four days. at the state lab, we are aiming for the 24-hour to 36-hour turn around. that includes having to get from every corner of the state. i think a couple of days ago, maybe sunday, we were able to announce, after work with the lab, adding more automation, increase ourto efficiency by about 35%, increasing the capacity we have there. so we're still doing the 24 to 36 hour turn around. notifications are done through the lab. that's whether it's state or lab corps and quest. we contact about positive tests, -- we contact those providers about positive tests, negative tests go out as standard. the epi team i talked about earlier, they afterwards are reaching out to individuals to get more context.
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often, what we have is a name, date of birth, and that kind of information on a test. we now need to learn more about that individual and were they part of a cluster and things like that. >> we have seen people die waiting on test results. can you address that? >> it is variable. as you heard the governor say, if we look at the average case, somebody after exposure to the virus in the first five to seven days should have symptoms. what we are seeing is that those symptoms are staying around for on average, the total course of the illness is about 10 days. there's extremes on both sides. people who have been infected or exposed and then became ill 14 days later, that's why you're seeing a lot of us talk about we need to see two weeks to really feel confident you're out of that window. but it's variable how you're going to react based on your underlying health, based on maybe even just the way that your body reacts to the virus. so we had a very tragic death this morning we learned about,
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in a 17-year-old, but we have other people who i'm sure have been in the hospital for a while before they passed. some people, unfortunately, may have been well enough at home and then died suddenly. you have the full spectrum. the most important thing we can say is -- if you are starting to feel ill, reach out to your primary care providers. call their offices, don't just show up. and certainly share what you're feeling.
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the work that we're doing here as we surge our capacity. yes, sir. >> you talked about the first weekend in april of new orleans potentially overwhelming the health care capacity, do you have an idea for other areas of the state? like baton rouge? gov. edwards: that may be the impression i gave and largely you are correct, but it's not new orleans, it's region one. you've got new orleans, orleans parish, jefferson parish, a large number of cases now in st.
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bernard and so forth. -- st. bernard and so forth. so it's all of that area together, and that is the region of our state that is at risk at the earliest time of exceeding our capacity. again, it's around april 2 or april 3 with respect to ventilators, based on the modeling with those we have on hand. obviously, we have ordered some. we're trying to procure them desperately. we are making contact with vendors, asking for them from the strategic national stockpile and so forth. and then obviously, we're trying to bring additional beds online before april 8, as well. did that answer your question? >> i guess i was wondering is there an idea for other areas of the state? gov. edwards: we're limited in how far out we can model at any given time. i can only and you -- i can only tell you the other regions of the state, the modeling doesn't
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show problems by april 8. but we're going to continue to model out. we know that there are going to be, at some point, more bed capacity needed in central louisiana in the baton rouge area and in northwest louisiana and additional ventilator capacity, as well. but those are out past april 8 right now. but we are planning for those areas, too. and obviously, we're working very, very hard to make sure that those things that have been in short supply and slow to arrive actually start coming in in greater numbers and more frequently, like p.p.e., like ventilators and so forth. yes, sir? >> you talked yesterday about you had an idea of getting 100 more ventilators this week. how many have you requested from the federal stockpile, and have we received any yet? gov. edwards: 5,000 from the federal stockpile, we received none. today -- actually, it was yesterday after the press
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conference, we received 90 more. remember, i said we were looking at three groups of 100. 100 have come in and been distributed. we're looking at another group of 100 this week, 90 of those came. -- came in. that number actually maybe 92. >> vendors? gov. edwards: yes, not from the national stockpile. and we still expect to receive another 100 that we've identified from a particular vendor early next week. those numbers are not the kind of numbers that we need. we need several thousand ventilators. and obviously, we need them in region one first. part of the conversation that i had with the administrator of fema less night, the important part was around ventilators and our request. obviously, they don't have enough in the strategic national stockpile to meet everyone's needs and grant everyone's requests. i just asked him that as they slice the pie, make sure they slice a piece for louisiana.
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and i haven't heard back on that particular request yet, but we are leaving no stone unturned. i personally went out looking for ventilators earlier today and in conversations with some other individuals, we think we have a lead on them. but, you know, they're in short supply. and so, we're having to be aggressive and work as fast as we can to get our hands on as many as possible, because every other state is in the same situation -- well, they're not in the same situation, but they're not far behind us. there's only a couple of other states out there right now that have the pressing problem that we have. yes, sir. >> to follow up on procurement. over the weekend, when the major disaster declarations were first announced for the three states, california, washington, new york, there was talk that those states would be prioritized when it came to getting crucial supplies, like p.p.e. and
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ventilators. now that louisiana has the same designation, have the feds specifically said that we would be prioritized? gov. edwards: well, look, i don't think it was just happenstance that the president called on me today. to ask me what was happening in louisiana and what our most pressing need was. it wasn't just, you know, a coincidence that he was -- he gave life as they put the paper in his hand that the epi team, the two medical stations and the 60-person strike team are coming to louisiana. i believe the major federal disaster declaration did elevate in the consciousness of people the situation we have in louisiana. it also has made funding available a little quicker so that the 75% of the cost is being borne by the federal government, by fema, they are approving that money faster as a result of that declaration. that's also very helpful. i would point out that
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yesterday, i was able to announce that we were the fourth state with a major federal disaster declaration. there are a number of other states now that have come in behind us, and i suspect that that number is going to continue to increase as we go forward. but there's no doubt but that the declaration that was granted by the president has been and will continue to be helpful to us here in louisiana. last question right here. >> governor, obviously, we talked about the noncompliance you are seeing across the state. i know you said you're not going to enforce our way through this -- but could more restrictions, harsher restrictions be on the horizon? gov. edwards: one of the things -- i don't know what this will look like yet, but one thing the president mentioned, i saw it up on the cnn screen a moment ago, is we're looking either today or tomorrow, very soon, to see -- to receive additional c.d.c. guidance with respect to social distancing and mitigation measures that should be in place in different places depending on
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what the facts are on the ground in that area. and i don't know whether that guidance is going to include things that are more restrictive than what we've already been doing. i know until we start to bend the curve, we're not going to do anything less restrictive. but i'm looking bard to receiving that guidance. we continue to have conversations with our counterparts at the c.d.c. i will be reach ought to some -- i will be reaching out to some folks in the federal government to make sure they're watching what's happening here in louisiana and to receive whatever advice they can give me. as of now, i don't have any news to make with respect to this. what i am confident of is that the state stay at home order that is in place, the social distancing guidelines that have already been put out there, all of those mitigation measures are sufficient to bend the curve. if the people do them.
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i am 100% confident of that. and if there's been a little difference in my tone today, it's because we're one day further, and we haven't yet seen that curve start to flatten. and so, i want the people of louisiana to know that they may feel helpless, because this is an invisible enemy, this is a virus, and it's not something we contend with. they may feel helpless, because i'm explaining all the difficulties we have around surging our medical capacity in order to meet what may be the need. but they are not helpless when it comes to slowing the spread. and in fact, they are the answer. they have it entirely within their control, collectively, they have it entirely within their control as to whether we need the surge. and by what date we need the surge. and so, i'm again, imploring people to do better. we will beat this. we are going to come out on the
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other side. i would rather it be sooner than later. and i would rather it be with less people infected and less people dying than would otherwise be the case. and we can do that, louisiana. and i'm confident that you will. i'm just confident that you will. and again, i ask you to continue to pray for our state and for this country. for those people who died. those family members of those people. and then those who have the disease now. that they will be restored to full health. and pray for one another that we will find the courage, the will, to do what we know we need to do. there are a lot of things mysterious about this virus. but there is no mystery around what we should be doing right now. and what we should not be doing. so let's get with it. thank you. announcer: the housemates
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tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. eastern to consider the $2 trillion economic aid package in response to the coronavirus pandemic. as always, you can follow any floor debate and the final phot live here on c-span. live here onvote c-span. up next, the head of the european commission talking about the coronavirus response within the european union. then i look at precautions the u.s. military is taking in light of the pandemic. and later, house speaker nancy pelosi and house minority leader kevin mccarthy discussing getting the economic a -- economic aid package passed into the president says for approval. >> first of all, i would like to thank all of those who have made -- extraaordinary narrowly possible and stretch -- in such


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