Governor says St. John Parish now has the highest COVID-19 death rate in the country per capita

Updated: Apr. 1, 2020 at 7:59 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -The Governor says St. John Parish has the highest COVID-19 death rate per capita in the country. Because of the alarming spike in cases in the River Parishes, curfews are now in effect in some areas.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says the river parishes are showing the highest growth rate of COVID-19 cases in the state.

The Louisiana Department of Health reports 118 cases and 13 deaths in St. John, 86 cases and 5 deaths in St. James Parish. St. Charles reports 7 deaths, 4 people have died in Lafourche Parish and in Terrebonne Parish, one person has died from the novel coronavirus.

“So, it’s basically the River Parishes plus Terrebonne and Lafourche as having what we currently believe to be the highest growth rate and spread of COVID cases in the state. And, so, I wanted to specifically address that. And, I want to encourage all the leaders, really all over the State of Louisiana, but, I’m talking specifically now to region three. Encourage those leaders, business leaders, political leaders, religious leaders, everybody to message as strongly as you possibly can to communicate the need for social distancing to follow the stay at home order so we can slow the spread,” Gov. Edwards said.

That is why St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre now has a curfew in place, in addition to the Governor’s statewide stay at home order. The curfew will run everyday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. The sheriff says it’s due to the imminent threat to life and health of citizens.

“I’m seeing too many people having barbecues and cookouts and crawfish boils and hanging out late at night to 12, 1 o’clock in the morning and like I said we only have 46,000 residents in St. John Parish and we’re in the top 5 cases in the State of Louisiana and that needs to stop or change and hopefully this move will help flatten the curve,” Tregre said.

The sheriff says essential workers will be allowed to travel to and from work past that curfew time. Essential businesses can also stay open.

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