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Montegut: Working to slow the spread of COVID-19

I am writing to update the citizens  of St. John the Baptist Parish about  the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. We are seeing slow and steady growth in the number of confirmed cases of infection as testing becomes  more widespread and available. Through  Tuesday, March  24, there were 21 confirmed cases of infection which indicated community spread of the virus. However, more  importantly there  were zero deaths. These numbers are small for a parish with a population of 40,000 plus people.

I am working daily with Col. Travis Perrilloux head of Emergency Operations in St. John Parish, Sheriff Mike  Tregre, Parish President, Jaclyn Hotard and the St. John Parish Council to track and monitor cases in our parish. We receive  daily updates  from the State Department of Health  which tracks the  number of cases in our parish and state.  We need our citizens to continue to follow the directions of Governor Edwards by practicing social distancing, avoiding unnecessary travel out of the parish, and staying away from social gatherings for the time being. These policies have shown to slow the spread of the virus in other countries and are making a difference in our communities and country. We won’t know the full extent until after  this outbreak is over, but our current parish statistics support we are having an impact.

Christy A. Montegut, M.D., is the elected coroner for St. John the Baptist Parish. For more information, call 985-652-3344.