Louisiana's patients hospitalised for coronavirus and the number of patients on life-saving ventilators have doubled within the last five days, the state's governor has announced.
The state also saw a one-day surge in more than 1,200 confirmed cases of Covid-19, a 30 per cent increase that brings the statewide total to more than 5,200.
At least 239 people have died, including 54 newly reported deaths.
Governor John Bel Edwards said that the increase has "put us firmly on the path to exceeding capacity to deliver healthcare" as the state's hospital systems brace for a surge in patients and dwindling resources to treat them.
He told reporters on Tuesday: "There is no community that is free of the virus and free of the disease Covid-19."
The governor has extended a statewide stay-at-home order through at least 30 April.
At the Ernest N Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, which has seen a majority of the cases, the state has set up 1,000 hospital beds to be available 5 April. Another 1,000 beds will be available at the end of the month. Those beds will be used for patients moved from hospital care to help free up hospital beds and ventilators.
The state also has received 292 ventilators from private vendors as well as 150 from the federal stockpile.