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COVID-19 testing available at Community Center Wednesday & Thursday

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish President Jaclyn Hotard has partnered with Ochsner Health to provide free COVID-19 testing at the St. John Parish Community Center from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9 and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10. Testing is available to those ages 2 years and older. Walk-ups are welcome. The St. John Community Center is located at 2900 Hwy 51 in LaPlace.

Testing is free, and insurance is not required. Testing is available at the below times or until all test kits have been utilized.

Community members will receive test results via the MyChart patient portal or by phone. Those who test positive will have the opportunity to participate in Ochsner’s 14-day symptom tracker program designed for COVID-19 patients who do not require hospital care. Participants may receive daily text messages to monitor symptoms and can be connected to the 24/7 nurse on-call line for additional support.

Additional Ochsner resources can be found below:

· Call the free Ochsner information line at 844-888-2772 for 24/7 advice and COVID-19 information.

· Established Ochsner patients can schedule a video visit with their provider and send secure messages via MyOchsner.

· New patients can see a provider over video throughwww.ochsner.org/virtualvisits or via the Ochsner Anywhere Care app.

For more information, visit www.sjbparish.com. Residents can also receive regular updates by following the Parish on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or by tuning in to the government access channel.

As of press time on Tuesday, Sept. 8, there had been 1,540 recorded cases of COVID-19 and 97 deaths in St. John Parish. There were 25 new cases and two new deaths in the week spanning Aug. 30 to Sept. 6.

For the month of August, St. John Parish had 188 new cases of infection and seven deaths. In a recent report, St. John Parish coroner Dr. Christy Montegut said cases of infection declined in the last two weeks of August, after 315 cases were reported in July.

He also noted that COVID-19 infections have been less severe in the last three months, a trend likely correlated to increased use of facemasks.

“…Scientific research has shown that face masks reduce the inflow of virus particles by 40 percent, thus reducing the ‘viral load’ of infection,” Montegut said in his Aug. 31 update. “With a lower virus load, the body has a better chance of fighting off the infection and reducing the chance of serious infection involving the heart, lungs and kidneys.”

A statewide total of 153,177 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Louisiana since March. An estimated 134,432 of these individuals are presumed to have recovered, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. There were 4,942 deaths recorded in Louisiana as of Tuesday, Sept. 8.