St. Martin Parish President Chester R. Cedars
April 12, 2020
4:00 P.M.


I again remind you of the new page on the Parish website for COVID-19 information and updates (


The report from LDH for this date reflects that the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the State is 20,595 with 840 deaths. This is a statewide increase of 1,342 positive tests since Friday and 85 deaths. The number of reported positive tests in surrounding areas continues to rise. The following is the count for our region:

  • Lafayette Parish: 354 cases, 13 deaths
  • Calcasieu Parish: 259 cases, 12 deaths
  • St. Martin Parish: 157 cases, 8 deaths
  • Iberia Parish: 136 cases, 5 deaths
  • St. Landry Parish: 113 cases, 13 deaths
  • St. Mary Parish: 113 cases, 2 deaths
  • Acadia Parish: 99 cases, 5 deaths
  • Jeff Davis Parish: 44 cases, 3 deaths
  • Evangeline Parish: 36 cases
  • Vermilion Parish: 26 cases, 1 death

The total reported positive tests in the above Parishes is 1,337 which is an increase of 132 cases OVER A TWO-DAY PERIOD. On Friday, I reported that we had an increase of 107 in one day. The total deaths are 62 which is an increase of 20 over a two-day period. For the benefit of Stephensville and Belle River, Assumption Parish (adjacent to Belle River) has 116 positive tests and 1 reported death, an increase of 15 positive tests and no increase in deaths.

I have not had the benefit of any conference with health officials over the weekend, which is expected. Nonetheless, other than the spike in the death totals, the positive test results over a two-day period is not alarming.


Almost every day I am questioned as to when we can expect to see the restrictions removed. My response is that things will not, in my opinion, change anytime soon, and certainly not before April 30, 2020, the termination date of the Stay at Home Orders. Also, it does not appear to me that the restrictions will be removed in total and at once. Rather, I anticipate that we will experience a gradual reduction in the measures beginning at the end of the month.

Of course, all of this will be driven by the extent that the spread of COVID-19 is stymied. Consequently, our adherence to the Stay at Home measures is critical. Simply put, the control of the virus is premised upon our efforts. That being said – over the last week, I have been very impressed with the attitude of our community as regards all parameters of the Stay at Home Orders. All of our local leaders, council members, aldermen, mayors, police chiefs, school board members, sheriff officials, AND THE PUBLIC have been extremely responsive to COVID-19 and all of the mitigation measures in place.

I will continue to closely monitor this matter and keep the public informed.


As I prepare this statement, our area has just endured the second round of inclement weather over the last couple of days. At this time, I have no report of significant damage.


Next week, I will focus upon providing information regarding the business opportunities afforded by the CARES Act, the 2.2 trillion dollar federal legislation designed to offer aid to our businesses and their employees. I invite you to visit the website of the St. Martin Parish Economic Development Authority ( which has a wealth of information posted.

Yesterday afternoon, Iberia Parish President Larry Richard and I conferred about several related issues and will seek an audience with members of our congressional delegation to assure we have all the latest information to share with every local governmental unit – municipalities, police, school boards, etc.


What has been lost during this crisis is the severe downturn in the oil industry. I am scheduled to participate in a conference call on this matter early next week. Candidly, I do not anticipate any encouraging news.


I hope all you had an enjoyable and blessed Easter Holiday. As I noted in earlier reports, the best thing about this year for me is that I will most assuredly savor the ability to freely and without restriction worship and celebrate holidays, and for that matter, everyday affairs, with family, friends, and neighbors. Finally, in the spirit of Easter, I feel constrained to repeat this comment from last Friday:


We have received, and I too have imparted, a ton of recommendations and all relative to addressing COVID-19, its spread, and its present and future consequences. There is one measure about which I have not spoken, nor have I heard promoted. May I suggest that you take time every day to PRAY. It is my personal belief that God remains in control. I know some of you may not believe, and that is your right and I respect it; however, I do believe and urge my fellow believers to call upon the Lord in these difficult times. I can think of no better message than Psalm 23.