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COVID-19 infections declining (again) in St. John

LAPLACE – The COVID-19 epidemic is showing signs of declining again in August in St. John Parish, with 188 new cases being reported as compared with 315 cases in July. There were seven deaths in August as compared with two in July and four in June.

The drop in new cases has been noted mainly in the last two weeks of August, with the number of new cases averaging three to five per day. There has also been a noticeable decline in new cases across the country during this time, with a lower death rate as treatments have become better and more people are wearing facemasks and practicing social distancing.

Of particular interest is new scientific research which has shown that facemasks reduce the inflow of virus particles into the respiratory tract by 40 percent, thus reducing the viral “load” of infection. With a lower virus load, the body has a better chance of fighting off the infection and reducing the chances of serious complications involving the lungs, heart and kidneys.

This may explain why COVID-19 infections have been less severe in the past three months, as more and more people have started to wear facemasks. Contrast that to the start of the epidemic in March and April where fewer people were wearing masks and the scientific evidence of mask effectiveness was lacking.

Hopefully this current decline can continue as everyone does their part with wearing facemasks and avoiding large gatherings.

This article was submitted by St. John Parish Coroner, Dr. Christy A. Montegut