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NELA hospitals preparing for potential second wave of COVID-19



MONROE, La. – COVID-19 cases are rising across the country, but health professionals in Northeast Louisiana said they are prepared.

Dr. John Bruchhaus from St. Francis Medical Center said they’ve been working on a contingency plan since March if a second wave happens.

“At present, we do expect at some point that our numbers will rise, and we have surge plans and disaster plans in process to have both staff and beds available for our community and Northeast Louisiana,” Bruchhaus said.

The hospital currently has 2 ICU’s open and 3 isolated floors dedicated to treating coronavirus patients.

Dr. Bruchhaus said they could provide 90 to 100 beds if needed.

“I think community members in Northeast Louisiana can feel comfortable that we can care for them if they should get COVID-19, as well as feel comfortable to come to the hospital for heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia, and any other medical issue. We don’t want people delaying coming to the hospital,” Bruchhaus said

As we get closer to the holidays, he said it’s important that we do our part in preventing a potential surge.

“We really should observe the six feet rule and stay more than six feet apart and wear masks even when we’re at family gatherings. I know that’s a tough thing to ask but to try to get through this winter safely that’s what’s going to be necessary,” Brucchaus said.