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60 Oschner employees test positive for COVID-19, 300 quarantined

Posted: 6:36 PM, Mar 25, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-25 19:36:08-04
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Around 60 Ochsner employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and approximately 300 employees have been quarantined, Ochsner Health President and CEO Warner Thomas told WGNO and other area media outlets on Tuesday.

Thomas said those numbers "represent a fraction of the 'thousands and thousands' of Ochsner employees.

Tuesday's noon update from the Louisiana Department of Health reported 1,795 cases of COVID-19 in the state and 65 deaths. 827 cases are in Orleans Parish, and officials have reported 37 COVID-19 related deaths in the parish.

Gov. John Bel Edwards requested a Major Disaster Declaration on Tuesday, and it was approved later that night by President Trump. The declaration will allow the state access to billions of dollars of federal funding and other federal resources to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Edwards has emphasized the importance of social distancing and last week said aggressive measures are needed to flatten the curve in Louisiana.

"We cannot run the risk of overwhelming our capacity to meet the need for critical medical services," Edwards said.

Ochsner is experiencing a shortage of beds, especially in the ICU, according to Thomas.