St. Martin Parish President Chester R. Cedars
June 5, 2020
6:00 P.M.

NEW FORMAT

I again remind you of the new page on the Parish website for COVID-19 information and updates (www.stmartinparish.net/coronavirus).

FUTURE REPORTS

As I previously advised, these public reports will be provided on a periodic basis as opposed to daily submissions. Of course, in the face of an important development on any issue of any nature, I will most assuredly promptly advise the public accordingly.

POSITIVE CASES FOR JUNE 5, 2020

The report from LDH for this date reflects a cumulative number of positive COVID-19 cases in the State of 41,989 with 2,802 deaths. This represents a statewide increase of 3,187 positive tests and an increase of 141 deaths over an eight-day period. The following is the count for our area:

  • Acadia Parish: 467 cases, 26 deaths
  • Calcasieu Parish: 625 cases, 51 deaths
  • Evangeline Parish: 81 cases, 1 death
  • Iberia Parish: 422 cases, 39 deaths
  • Jeff Davis Parish: 87 cases, 7 deaths
  • Lafayette Parish: 854 cases, 29 deaths
  • St. Landry Parish: 308 cases, 54 deaths
  • St. Martin Parish: 281 cases, 24 deaths
  • St. Mary Parish: 333 cases, 32 deaths
  • Vermilion Parish: 59 cases, 4 deaths

The seven Parishes in LDH Region 4 (Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermilion) reflect a total, cumulative number of positive tests of 2,472 and 177 deaths. This is an average of 37.37 positive tests and 1.65 deaths per day over the last 8 days.

Moreover, it was reported that COVID-19 hospitalizations are only 604, 110 less than 8 days ago. Patients on ventilators total 75, which is 15 less than 8 days ago. These numbers reflect an extremely important and encouraging downward trend.

Also noteworthy is that, apparently, there was not a spike in the number of cases as a consequence of the Memorial Day Holiday as some had anticipated.

TESTING SITES AND DATES

The comprehensive testing program in St. Martin Parish continues. Testing is available to anyone, even those who may be asymptomatic. Members of the community should bring a valid ID and insurance card, if applicable. There are no out-of-pocket costs for those seeking a test, and no one will be turned away based on their insurance status. Hence, those who have no insurance or funds to pay for a test will nonetheless be tested. ALL TESTING IS VOLUNTARY. Also, one need not exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 or be a member of a high-risk category to be tested. No physician referral is necessary. To date, approximately 505 tests have been conducted.

Testing is available at the dates, times and locations listed below. Testing times are subject to change due to volume. For the safety of the healthcare workers, testing could be canceled due to weather conditions; IN FACT, THERE WILL BE NO TESTING ON SUNDAY AND MONDAY BECAUSE OF TROPICAL STORM CRISTOBAL.

As stated in prior reports, the increase in testing will likely result in an increase of reported positive test results. That is to be expected. Thus, the focus should address the percentage of positive tests. The unofficial information which has been reported reflects a percentage of positive tests for the Parish testing at less than 3% which is excellent.

PHASE II RE-OPENING

On Monday, June 1, 2020, Governor John Bel Edwards announced that the State had met the criteria necessary to enter Phase II of the re-opening of our businesses and the further removal of restrictions. His Executive Order to that affect was issued last evening. Essentially, most of the businesses which were allowed to re-open in Phase I were allowed to increase their capacity to 50%. Bars and lounges without an LDH Food permit were allowed to re-open at 25% capacity. Event Centers also saw a significant increase in their capacities as well.

In lieu of a detailed outline of Phase II re-opening, I simply direct your attention to the website http://opensafely.la.gov. At this site, there is a delineation of the specific categories of businesses with all of the measures specific to each class set forth. However, should anyone have any questions, please feel free to contact our office or our OEP, and we will assist.

TROPICAL STORM CRISTOBAL

Last week, I advised of a meeting which the Parish hosted to discuss the upcoming hurricane season. That meeting proved important as a consequence of Tropical Storm Cristobal. We have monitored this system closely and since Wednesday have been briefed twice a day on the storm by both GOHSEP and the National Weather Service. At this point, it appears that this storm’s greatest threat is rain and storm surge. As to the latter, we are especially concerned about the Stephensville-Belle River areas. By noon tomorrow, the Parish should have a more definitive report of what to expect from Tropical Storm Cristobal, and I will be posting an update at that time. Please avail yourself of the sandbags at the locations which we have posted. If anyone needs assistance with sandbags, or anything else for that matter, please contact our OEP at 337-394-2808. A laundry list of items one should have during hurricane season can be found on the parish’s OEP website, www.stmartinohsep.org.

Also, because of COVID-19, anyone who may feel constrained to evacuate in the event of a storm (not necessarily Cristobal) should make plans now relative to where they may wish to seek shelter. OEP will have information available relative to public sheltering; however, one may wish to seek alternatives in view of COVID-19.