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Medical officials respond to Mayor-President's request in online video

Posted at 8:28 PM, Nov 17, 2020

LAFAYETTE — "Currently Acadiana is facing its third wave in the pandemic," Our Lady Lourdes Chief Medical Officer Henry Kaufman said.

Lourdes, Ochsner Lafayette General, and Dr. Tina Stefanski, Louisiana Department of Health Region 4 Medical Director, teamed up to record a video in which they explain what local hospitals are doing to fight the coronavirus and what people need to do to curb the spread.

"We're seeing significant rises of COVID positive individuals in the community. We're not quite seeing that rise in the hospital, but it's anticipated that usual unexpected lag will hit us in a week or two," Kaufman explained.

"I certainly understand COVID fatigue, as much as anybody else does right now. [I] would love nothing more than to enjoy some time or parties with friends and family, but this is not the time to do that," Chief Medical Officer at Ochsner Lafayette General Amanda Logue added.

The video is a direct response to Mayor-President Josh Guillory. Last week during a conference call Guillory questioned what medical leaders are doing to "mitigate the surge" and asked for assurances the medical community has "changed its behavior." The doctors answered those questions in their video.

"Some of the things we're doing here at Lourdes to improve our capacity and take care of COVID patients," said Kaufman. "We're expanding beds, we have robust supply of PPE and supplies we need to take care of these patients."

Now, Lafayette Consolidated Government is softening its tone.

"Obviously it's not solely up to the medical community," said Jamie Angelle, LCG's Chief Communications Officer. "They play the biggest role, however, in helping to mitigate this."

The mayor's spokesman said LCG wants health officials to keep the public informed.

"When that information comes from them, people tend to listen to them more. So we'll be leaning on them to help get the word out. We are still in a situation that's dangerous," Angelle explained.

We should note that officials with both Our Lady of Lourdes and Lafayette General have been providing updates on COVID-19 throughout the pandemic via online videos and by participating in government press conferences, including one with Governor John Bel Edwards.