NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana will get 200 more ventilators from the federal government's emergency stockpile, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Saturday as the state's health department reported another 2,200 confirmed coronavirus cases.
The 200 ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile were promised by Vice President Mike Pence, Edwards said in a statement.
Saturday, Louisiana had 12,496 confirmed cases of coronavirus. At least 409 people have died from COVID-19, the respiratory illness associated with the newest virus strain.
Louisiana has already gathered 553 ventilators: 150 from the national stockpile, 400 from private vendors and three from the Louisiana National Guard.
But the state needs more.
State health officials have estimated that the state needs 12,000 ventilators for the continued torrent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Even with the promise of additional ventilators, the state will have less than 10% of that goal.
He didn't specify when the 200 ventilators would arrive. His administration predicts hospitals in Louisiana would run out of ventilators and hospital beds sometime in early April.
“We are grateful to both President Donald Trump and Vice President 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 a statement. “Based on our modeling, we know that we will exceed our capacity to deliver health care to those who need it, first in the New Orleans area, but because of these ventilators and others that we are sourcing around the world, we will be able to prolong that inevitable day and have fewer people go with unmet medical needs."
Edwards said the state would also receive several hundred thousand surgical gowns for healthcare workers in the New Orleans area.