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Montegut: COVID-19 cases continue to drop in September

LAPLACE — COVID-19 infections continue to decline in St. John Parish in September, with 73 cases of new infection being reported as of Sept. 28. This compares with 188 cases in August and 315 cases in July. The number of COVID-19 deaths in September stands at five compared with seven in August and two in July.

The drop in cases locally has coincided with a gradual drop in cases across the State of Louisiana in September, in spite of the threat of several hurricanes and the reopening of schools statewide.

We need to continue to be vigilant with wearing masks and practicing social distancing in order to keep the virus at bay. We don’t want to duplicate the mistakes made in Europe this summer, where people stopped practicing COVID prevention during the vacation season and outbreaks occurred in tourist destinations around the Mediterranean region. Travelers brought the infection back to their home countries, resulting in major outbreaks in Spain, Italy, France and England.

Clearly the virus is still active and deserves our respect for being a very contagious foe that can cause life threatening illness and major medical complications for people with underlying medical conditions. Our at-risk population also includes people over the age of 70.

Our state has progressed to Phase 3, which allows for fewer business restrictions, and St. John Parish continues with a law positivity rate on COVID-19 testing. Let’s continue to work together to keep the virus at bay while we start to resume some of our “normal” activities.