Montegut: Marked decline seen in COVID-19 cases

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 6, 2020

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Since my last update in the newspaper on April 15, there has been a slowing in COVID-19 related deaths and cases of new infections in St. John the Baptist Parish. The decline has been most dramatic since April 22, with only seven deaths occurring through press time on May 4, along with only 25 cases of new infections confirmed with daily parish-wide testing in place in our parish. Nursing home deaths have also slowed dramatically during this time as more widespread testing has occurred to identify patients with the highest risk. Community efforts to shelter in place and perform social distancing have indeed helped to slow the spread of this virus and get us past the peak of this crisis. We will need to continue to be cautious in the near future by practicing social distancing until our deaths and new cases continue to trend down for another two to four weeks. Wearing face masks in public places is still recommended, especially for our vulnerable residents over 65 and those with illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease, severe obesity, hypertension and kidney disease. Frequent hand washing is also recommended. The end is now in sight, and we all need to continue to do our part so that our parish can cross the finish line and beat COVID-19.
Christy A. Montegut, M.D. is the coroner of St. John the Baptist Parish and can be reached at (985) 652-3344.