St. Tammany experiencing ‘sharp rise’ in COVID cases

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 1:30 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2021 at 4:43 PM CDT
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ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. (WVUE) - Health leaders and parish officials held a press conference Monday to discuss a “sharp rise” in COVID-19 cases in St. Tammany Parish.

Representatives from local hospitals, Parish President Mike Cooper, and the parish coroner Dr. Charles Preston were in attendance.

“What COVID-19 is doing to our community has created a grim reality,” said Cooper. “This is without a doubt, the most dangerous phase of COVID that we have endured. Hospital beds are filling by the hour. Nurses, doctors and medical professionals are working longer hours with more stressful situations. I am urging our citizens to please take the virus seriously.”

On Monday, August 9, 2021, the Louisiana Department of Health reported a three-day, weekend total of 792 new COVID-19 cases, which topped last weekend’s total of 738.

“Undoubtedly, one of the most concerning figures of this phase of the virus, is the rapid rate of hospitalizations. We simply cannot keep up with the pace.” Within two weeks, one St. Tammany Parish hospital reported an increase from 66 to 115 hospitalizations.

Officials say almost all recent hospitalizations from COVID-19 were unvaccinated people.

“If you don’t trust my opinion about the vaccine, ask your own doctor,” said St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston. “And if you don’t trust him or her, why is he or she your doctor?”

Cooper reinstated an indoor mask mandate on Aug. 2.

“The progress that we have made in the last 18 months has been lost and now, it is time to refocus our efforts on mitigating the spread,” said Cooper. “Our local hospitals have reported record levels of hospitalizations. In the last two weeks, St. Tammany Parish has seen COVID-19 cases skyrocket, shattering previous records. The very least we can do, in order to move forward, is to wear a mask.”

Last Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported a three-day weekend total of 738 COVID-19 cases in St. Tammany Parish. The previous weekend total was 509, which was reported on July 26.

“Our vaccinations have slightly risen to 46% within the last week or two; however, we still have a long way to go,” said Cooper. “My administration is strongly encouraging all citizens, who are able, to please consult your medical professional and consider vaccination. It is proven and safe.”

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