St. Tammany expands COVID testing after spike

Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 4:08 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - St. Tammany COVID-19 cases began the week at 4375, and ended at 4621. The Parish is taking steps to ramp up testing as the number of COVID deaths passes an unfortunate milestone.

This week St. Tammany surpassed 200 COVID-19 deaths as its numbers reached levels not seen since the first week in April.

And new testing sites are opening across the parish including one at Madisonville’s ballfield as well as at First Baptist Church in Mandeville.

“Testing has been increased over the past several weeks to the benefit of our community,” said parish president Mike Cooper.

Hospital admissions are up as well with the St. Tammany health system reporting 23 COVID-19 patients, but the parish president says patient loads have not reached critical levels.

“We are in good shape, it is no cause for alarm, it’s a matter of keeping an eye on hospitalizations,” Cooper said.

Though many businesses are restricted due to phase 2, COVID-19 limitations, St. Tammany sales tax revenues are down only slightly.

“Our parish finances are only 1.6% below last year at this time,” Cooper said.

The parish president continues to urge citizens to obey COVID restrictions, including wearing facemasks in public as well as adequate social distancing.

Next week, Ochsner will offer testing at Fritchie Park in Slidell from Tuesday to Friday between 9 AM and 4 PM. For more information on St. Tammany testing sites you can go to the parish website here.

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