March 29 coronavirus news

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9:07 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Nurse describes New Orleans hospital conditions

From CNN’s Kaye Jones

A nurse at a downtown New Orleans hospital has described to CNN the very difficult conditions at the facility. The nurse, who did not want to be identified out of fear that speaking to the media could lead to employment repercussions, described the situation at the hospital after finishing a shift two days ago.

"We are averaging five to seven intubations and three to four deaths a day. We have had to set up a temporary morgue (white box) outside the ED next to ambulance ramp for those who expire from COVID-19, this temporary morgue is full," the nurse said.

The nurse told CNN that while the situation at the hospital is dire, the staff are in better shape than some.

“We are being asked to recycle our N95 masks. We only have 16 unused ventilators left in hospital. We’ve been told the surrounding hospitals are at max capacity without ventilators, leaving our hospital and one other major hospitals left to care for these patients," the nurse said. "EMS are having to recruit volunteer EMT workers to help as New Orleans EMS paramedics are either in quarantine for exposure or sick themselves."

The nurse offered a grim prediction:

If this type of workflow continues into April, we will not be able to sustain as a hospital."
9:07 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

A letter from UK Prime Minister will be sent to 30 million households urging people to stay home

From CNN's Lauren Kent 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will write letters to households across the UK urging people to stay home, according to a Downing Street statement on Saturday.

The Prime Minister's letters will be sent to 30 million households next week and will say the following:

"We know things will get worse before they get better. But we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal. ...That is why, at this moment of national emergency, I urge you, please, to stay at home, protect the (National Health Service) and save lives.”

UK residents will receive a leaflet outlining the government’s coronavirus advice, with clear explanations of symptoms, rules on leaving the house and rules on self-isolating with symptoms. The letters and leaflets are expected to cost $7.2 million (£5.8 million) to print and distribute.

The statement added that Johnson "is continuing to lead the Government’s response to coronavirus as he self isolates after testing positive for the virus."