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What Ida's aftermath could mean for Louisiana's healthcare system

While Hurricane Ida may be behind us, its effects on the state remain. One of which include its impact on the healthcare system and the fight against covid-19.

Posted: Sep 1, 2021 10:54 PM

Lafayette - While Hurricane Ida may be behind us, its effects on the state remain. One of which include its impact on the healthcare system and the fight against covid-19.

Healthcare systems in Louisiana have been slammed over the past couple of months as the state battles its fourth covid-19 surge and in the wake of Hurricane Ida Doctor Lawrence Simon says it’s sure to add more stress.

"This is going to put some strain on some public health resources in a lot of areas," Simon said.

As the cleanup process begins after Hurricane Ida ripped through southeast Louisiana Sunday, some healthcare workers are concerned as many hospitals affected most by the strong category four storm are having to transport patients to other hospitals.

"Some of your smaller community hospitals that are running on generators and trying to get power back," Simon said. "And you’ve got your major hospitals, even in New Orleans that are on either emergency power supplies or generators of some kind."

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ICU beds across the state are about 88 percent full with 45 percent being covid patients. Simon said "with our hospitals already being full, there isn’t room to absorb people."

But with thousands of Louisianians displaced due to Ida, it could present a challenge for a healthcare system that has been pushed to the brink.

"You have a lot of them that have gone from places that have high covid rates to evacuation areas that have even higher rates for those that might have gone to Texas or Georgia or Florida," he said.

One silver lining according to Simon could be the fact that many residents of more rural areas may now have easier access to the resources needed when it comes to covid-19 and vaccinations.

"Now they’re going to be staying with family in larger cities that might give them a chance to talk to their family and loved ones about vaccination and either change their mind and get vaccinated or get the access that they need," Simon said.

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