COVID-19 update: The decline continues
COVID-19 cases and deaths continued to decline in April and remain at a low level in St. John Parish, with only 55 new cases and two deaths being reported throughout the parish. This compares with 73 new cases and two deaths in March and 218 cases with three deaths in February. This again has coincided with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines which began at the end of 2020.
Currently, St. John Parish ranks 10th in the State of Louisiana with 27.5% of our residents fully vaccinated, and another 7% have received at least one shot. We are slightly above the Louisiana average of 26% which has been fully vaccinated, which corresponds to 1.2 million people. We are also slightly ahead of our neighbors in St. Charles and St. James Parish, who have 34% and 32% of their population who have received at least one dose of vaccine. When you add in the roughly 3,500 people who have acquired immunity throughout active infection, the percentage of our parish population with immunity increases to 42.5%.
We still have a long way to go to reach the goal of 75% to 80% of fully vaccinated residents to reach the goal of herd immunity for our parish. Vaccines are readily available at numerous locations in our parish. Vaccine safety has been exceptional given the vast number of people who have been vaccinated, and the number of patients hospitalized due to COVID has drastically declined. Deaths have also been greatly reduced. We finally have COVID-19 on the run, but we must continue to vaccinate as many people as we can to maintain our control of the spread of this virus.
Dr. Christy Montegut is the coroner for St. John the Baptist Parish. He can be reached at 985-652-3344.