The announcement last week that President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Coronavirus was worrisome to many people in Washington Parish.
But it was also a stark and disturbing reminder that the pandemic is not yet over.
More than 200,000 Americans have died from Coronavirus, and medical experts expect many more deaths before the pandemic is finally over.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has gradually relaxed restrictions and the state is now in Phase 3. There are still some mandates, but not as many as there were in the spring and summer.
A mask mandate remains in place for now. Some medical professionals have expressed concern because many people seem to ignore the mask mandate. In Louisiana, the mandate requires that a mask or other face covering be worn in public place, including stores.
For Washington Parish, since the beginning of the pandemic in late February and early March, there have been a total of 1,654 cases of Coronavirus reported. Those cases resulted in a total of 67 deaths, as of October 2.
Statistics provided by the Louisiana Department of Health show that Washington Parish’s 67 deaths were broken down by race as follows:
White: 39 deaths
Black: 27 deaths
The 1,654 cases of Coronavirus reported in the parish since the beginning of the pandemic were broken down as follows by the Louisiana Department of Health:
Race Unknown: 124
“Other” includes Hispanic, and as a percentage of population this category by far has the highest percentage of cases in Washington Parish. Of the 852 “Other” residents of the parish, 318 contracted Coronavirus. That’s a 37% infection rate for that category.
As for the announcement that the president and his wife have tested positive, it will be interesting to see if this news increases the usage of masks among Washington Parish residents.
After initial confusion in early Spring about the best methods for preventing the spread of Coronavirus, medical experts are now certain that wearing masks and maintaining social distancing are the two most important preventative methods.
Handwashing on a regular basis is also recommended.
As of Monday of this week, no changes had been announced to the Washington Parish COVID-19 free testing program. The program is conducting weekly testing in both Franklinton and Bogalusa. If adverse weather forces a change to the program’s schedule, it will be announced on era-leader.com
The free CV-19 testing will be available every Monday and Tuesday until further notice at the Bogalusa Health Unit, 626 Carolina Ave, Bogalusa; and every Wednesday and Thursday until further notice at the Franklinton Health Unit, 120 11th Ave., Franklinton. Scheduled times are 9 am until 4 pm. Pre-register at this website: