Updated Monday, July 13.
Coronavirus continued its miserable visit to Washington Parish during the past week. The parish has now (as of Monday, July 13) had a total of 852 confirmed cases of the virus and 51 deaths since early March, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
On a statewide basis, there have been 79,827 cases and 3,315 deaths since early March, the Department of Health reported. Over the past 5 days, statewide deaths have increased by 77, and Washington Parish deaths have increased by 3.
A month ago, there was hope that the virus was winding down. But since then it has picked up speed not just in Louisiana but across the nation. Medical experts are worried that Americans, tired of living with Coronavirus restrictions, are not taking the necessary precautions seriously. Unfortunately, Coronavirus isn't going away anytime soon. Both Gov. John Bel Edwards and Washington Parish President Richard N. Thomas are urging people to wear facemasks, practice social distancing, and wash hands frequently. A statewide mask mandated by announed by the governor on Saturday, July 11.
At a press conference held in Baton Rouge last week Edwards said the case numbers in the state are now very high, and he said he is concerned with how quickly the virus is spreading and growing in the state. He said that back in April, New Orleans was the epiccenter of Coronavirus in Louisiana. Now, he said, the virus is spread all over the state.
"For t he past three weeks we've been moving in the wrong direction," the governor said.
Washington Parish President Richard N. Thomas also expressed his concern. He said everyone in Washington Parish and across Louisiana needs to work together to slow down the virus. Otherwise, Thomas said, he is worried that the governor will increase the restrictions back to Phase One.
Thomas said all residents of the parish need to be taking the precautions seriously. He reminded everyone to wear a face mask or other suitable face covering, to wash hands frequently and avoid touching the face, to cover coughs and sneezes, and to maintain social distancing. Thomas noted that avoiding any crowded areas is also important, and he reminded parish residents to clean surfaces with disinfectant.
Several parishes to the south of Washington Parish are among the worst in the state for new cases and new deaths, including St. Tammany and Jefferson.
Please be safe. Wear a facemask in public and take all other necessary precautions. The virus primarily spreads through close contact with an infected individual via respiratory droplets that are emitted when coughing, sneezing, singing, laughing, talking, or even just breathing. Wearing a face mask is one of the best ways for infected individuals to keep those droplets contained. For those who are healthy, a mask can also offer some protection from inhaling the droplets.
51 deaths for Washington Parish are 51 too many!