One Louisiana hospital is using brown paper bags by the ICU doors to store used masks

Louisiana's reported coronavirus related death toll increased by more than 40% in just one day. CNN's Ed Lavandera tells us more.

Posted: Mar 29, 2020 4:01 PM
Updated: Mar 29, 2020 4:01 PM

Hospital workers in Louisiana, where the cases of novel coronavirus are skyrocketing daily, are already working under great stress and officials there say it will get worse.

An employee inside one hospital told CNN that every intensive care unit room at facility has brown paper bags by the door. Each bag is marked with a staff member's name.

The health care workers use the bags to store their N95 masks as they go in and out of the room. They have to reuse the masks, which are supposed to be disposable, until they are soiled.

Some rooms are being turned into a makeshift negative pressure room. Negative pressure rooms are necessary for Covid-19 patients because they keep the airborne contaminants inside the room and away from common areas of the hospital. Most hospitals only have a few negative pressure rooms.

The hospital told CNN it was using these kinds of temporary rooms but would not say how many.

Ecoee Rooney, the president of the New Orleans district nurses association, told CNN from inside one of the hospitals treating the growing number of patients that staffers are under tremendous stress.

"I will tell you, you know there's a lot of fear and anxiety. But what I'm seeing more than anything is that people are responding, so amazingly," she said.

She told CNN the nurses know more patients are coming.

Testing is getting better but needs work, governor says

Life throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area is at a standstill, but at the Alario Event Center in nearby Westwego on the Crescent City's West Bank, there was a line of cars that filled the parking lot on a hot, breezy Friday morning.

While it resembled the traffic you'd see after a concert or big game, this was the queue at a coronavirus testing site in Jefferson Parish, next door to Orleans Parish where 57 people have died from Covid-19.

This facility can only test 250 people per day and opens at 8 a.m. In two hours, all the tests are used.

It's a highly organized event, with police directing traffic.

So far, more than 21,000 people have been tested statewide, which makes it fifth in the nation, on a per capita basis, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards.

"We're doing everything within our power to respond to this crisis and we need everyone, I implore everyone to do their part," he told reporters Friday.

Edwards said he was happy with the path that testing is taking. But he said they can always do better and more.

Across the state, 119 people have died and more than 2,700 people have had a positive test. Edwards said the number of cases reported Friday wasn't as drastic an increase as Thursday, but health officials were only able to do half the number of tests.

He said the state's top priority is getting more equipment to the people in hospitals and more beds.

Dire conditions

Edwards has said hospitals in the New Orleans area could run out of bed space and ventilators by early April.

Medical teams are preparing to turn the convention center into a makeshift hospital. State officials say 120 beds will be ready to take coronavirus patients by this weekend and the site could ultimately stage more than 1,100 beds.

Edwards told reporters he's trying to get those hospital workers more ventilators. The state has ordered 12,000, he said, 5,000 from the federal government's strategic reserve and the other from companies making them.

They have received 192 and hope to get another 100 next week.

"The trajectory that we are on right now is one that takes us to a place where we're not going to be capable of delivering the health care that will be demanded of our hospitals," he said.

Edwards said he agrees with the US Surgeon General's statement Friday morning that New Orleans is headed the way of New York, which has more than 26,000 cases in the city of more than 8 million people.

But he is hopeful that social distancing is working to mitigate the spread of the virus and that might show up in the data soon.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
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Angola
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