BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's governor is asking the White House to declare a major disaster in his state to free up more direct federal aid to cope with the surging coronavirus outbreak.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is warning that the New Orleans area could run out of hospital beds by April 4. The Democratic governor's request to President Donald Trump comes as the number of people in Louisiana confirmed to have the COVID-19 disease surged to nearly 1,200. The state health department says 34 Louisiana residents have died.

The governor is requesting federal reimbursement for emergency response work and other types of disaster assistance.

(Story written by MELINDA DESLATTE/AP)

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