St. Martin Parish President Chester R. Cedars
July 30, 2021
6:50 P.M.


Since my remarks last Tuesday, there have been no positive developments regarding the current COVID-19 surge. The number of new COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise at the highest rates since the pandemic began. Today, the hospitalizations in Region 4 were 237, which is an increase of 37 patients in just 3 days. The percent positivity for St. Martin Parish is now at 20.5%, the second highest in the State.

I was asked recently whether I thought the imposition of the previous limitations on businesses were on the horizon. My response was, and remains, that we will not see those types of restrictions except perhaps for a mask mandate for indoor gatherings. Indeed, today the Governor advised that he is considering reimposing the prior mask mandate. However, I am extremely anxious over the prospect of many of our businesses being unable to provide goods and services because of outbreaks among employees. Similarly, this particular concern embraces government offices such as but not limited to the Parish.

Perhaps my most pronounced fear is that in view of the rapid acceleration of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, our medical community will soon be unable to adequately address the public’s medical needs because of the uncontrolled spread of the virus. Simply put, our hospitals and their staff are overwhelmed because of this surge. This fact cannot be disputed.

Finally, I ponder what danger teachers, staff, and students may face with the opening of school on the horizon.

As I stated earlier this week, according to physicians worldwide, this dire situation can be abated if the public will avail itself of the vaccinations which are widely available. Of course, we do not need to go beyond the wise guidance of our local medical providers and physicians to receive this message. I learned during a conference on Thursday that 96% of all physicians are fully vaccinated. That fact alone imparts a powerful message about the import of vaccines.

I respect and recognize the reticence many possess regarding the vaccines, particularly since full FDA approval has yet been granted. Also, many have reservations about effects of the vaccines. As such, I implore everyone who takes the time to read this message to register for a webinar on August 5, 2021, which will include local medical professionals from all fields. They will address those concerns which many have voiced about the vaccines. Please take a moment to review the following flyer:

I again urge everyone who have not elected to receive the vaccine to reconsider their decision and visit their local medical providers. I submit that such an endeavor will validate the fact that vaccinations afford everyone the opportunity to exercise control over the virus as opposed to COVID-19 continuing to control us. Vaccinations is the weapon at our disposal to end this spread of COVID-19.