hospital bed

SHREVEPORT, La. - Northwest Louisiana hospitals are not facing a bed shortage -- right now. 

But Knox Andress, Region 7 Hospital Preparedness coordinator, said one could be looming. However, it's hard to put a timeline on it.

Area hospitals have been preparing for a situation like this for years, said Andress, adding there are plans in place for making more beds available.

Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards shared that Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport is adding 120 ICU beds.

Andress explained in a separate interview the plans for additional medical facilities.

"We've had some initial discussions with leadership about alternative care areas that we might could activate if we need it, but we haven't gone to the point yet of looking at a Javits Center in New York City," said Andress.

Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins believes a hospital bed shortage is possible, too.

"The hospitals already have plans; they're already looking at other spaces that they can kind of go if they have overflow. So the hospital's plans are pretty sound. But I'm on the phone with the governor just about everyday to make sure we can get the resources in our area that we need. Everything is on the table for us to deal with this virus," said Perkins.

A spokesperson from Overton Brooks VA Medical Center said if other hospitals become overwhelmed, the VA can treat non-veterans.

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