Bayou Parish COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spike in July

Updated: Jul. 16, 2020 at 4:36 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Some Bayou Parishes are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks.

State health leaders are keeping a close eye as hospitalizations also increase.

Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes are listed in the state's top ten for new COVID-19 cases as of Thursday.

"In my mind, it's because of the graduations and the parties and the trips. These senior trips that these kids have been taking, and families, your kid may come home from a graduation party and give it to you or your spouse. So that's kind of what we've seen happening," Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson said.

In Lafourche Parish, COVID-19 cases increased by 125% since June.

Chaisson also credits the spike to more testing.

"When we had the testing site, we were hovering around the 10% range of our populations that was tested. Snce it has blown up in the last six to eight weeks, we're probably closer to 20% of the population that's been tested. So those numbers continue to grow every day," Chaisson said.

Hospitalizations for the region also increased by 250% since the beginning of July, according to the Louisiana Department of Health website.

"A big, big concern. I'll tell you hospitals across the state are receiving patients from outside their regions right now. We have patients in New Orleans that came all the way from Lake Charles because those hospitals are about full," Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health said.

While there's still space in the Bayou Parish hospitals, ICU beds are at 62% capacity.

"I'm thankful that for example, New Orleans and river parishes, we still have decent hospital capacity, but that's going to be filled up, both from cases outside of the region, and also if we don't turn this thing around from increasing cases here," Kanter said.

Chaisson says he doesn't believe clusters in the parish are coming from businesses.

“It’s these very isolated little pockets that we’re watching where we’re seeing things seem to be stemming from. So we’re not looking at any restrictions other than making sure if you’re having an event, that you’re keeping it under the 50 person limit, especially in the indoor setting,” Chaisson said.

The number of cases in Terrebonne Parish increased by 75 percent since last month.

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