UPDATE (3:30)– As the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Ouachita Parish, Ouachita Parish Police Jury is working to help with the COVID-19 outbreak here at home.
“I would like to think that we would flatten the curve and we would get a report of zero new cases, but realistically, I don’t think that’s where we are today,” said Shane Smiley, Ouachita Parish Police Jury President.
Police Jury president, Shane Smiley, says he is working with local and state officials and hospitals on possibly reopening the North Monroe Medical Hospital, which is owned by St.Francis Medical Center.
“We’re looking to see what the possibility would be if we needed to open up another facility for patients in our entire region,” said Smiley.
If North Monroe Medical Hospital is reopened, they could hold around 200 patients. However, the number of patients would be done in increments. This hospital would either be for COVID-19 patients or a place for non-affected patients to go to free up their bed. That decision will not be made by Smiley.
“This is much larger than Ouachita Parish, we are the medical hub for our entire region. We are already seeing a number of transfers from outlying areas,” said Smiley.
While they are just planning for the future right now, Smiley says having a back up plan is smart.
“I think it’s important that we plan. If we would need a facility, we can’t just come in a flip the switch and have it up and going,” said Smiley.
Smiley says they have looked at many sites, all of them offering something different.
“This facility is a good fit and so we’ve worked closely with the hospitals to see what their interest may be and we want to continue to work with them in the planning and assessment if the situation arises,” said Smiley.
If the hospital is reopened, Smiley says he will go to Baton Rouge and ask for assistance based on what the needs are and how long they would stay open.
A date for when the hospital could possibly reopen is not available as they are still in the planning stages and working with St. Francis Medical Center. However, we will update you as more information becomes available.
MONROE, LA (4/4/20)– The Ouachita Parish Police Jury is working on a new project to help with the COVID-19 outbreak here at home.
Police Jury President, Shane Smiley, says he is working with local and state officials to possibly re- open the North Monroe Medical Hospital, which is owned by St.Francis Medical Center. This is an effort to help with a potential overflow of COVID-19 patients. At this point, it’ s just in the planning phase right now to figure out what the best option is for Ouachita Parish.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.