St. Martin Parish President Chester R. Cedars
March 20, 2020
We continue to receive questions about the testing or screening sites for COVID-19. The testing site closest to St. Martin Parish remains in Lafayette at the Cajundome. This site is the product of a joint effort between Lafayette General Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes. President Larry Richard is working with Iberia Medical Center to secure a testing site in Iberia Parish but thus far he has not been successful. Note that a screening/testing site requires testing kits, personal protection equipment for testing personnel, and an adequate number of medical professionals. All of the foregoing are in short supply. I repeat the message from yesterday:
I am compelled to clarify a MISCONCEPTION which many people have relative to screening/testing sites for COVID-19. The site at the Cajundome in Lafayette Parish IS FOR ANYONE. It is not limited to only Lafayette Parish residents.
You should go to the site only if you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus (coughing, shortness of breath and/or temperature greater than 100.4) and considered high risk. Therefore, if you experience any symptoms associated with COVID-19, call your family physician or 211 for guidance.
The common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
Individuals who are at a high risk of severe illness associated with COVID-19 are:
• Healthcare workers with direct contact with confirmed or suspected COVID cases
• Pregnant women
• Patients with immunocompromised conditions
• Age 60 years or older
• People living in communal settings (nursing facilities, shelters, etc.)
• Infants less than 10 weeks of age
As of this date and time, there are 479 positive tests in Louisiana and 13 deaths. The number of reported positive tests in surrounding areas stands at 15:
Lafayette Parish: 7 cases
Calcasieu Parish: 3 cases
St. Landry Parish: 2 cases
Iberia Parish: 2 cases
Evangeline Parish: 1 case
The La. Department of Health has assured me and our OEP that upon receipt of a positive test from St. Martin Parish, I will be informed first and then fully debriefed. My protocol will be to notify immediately the St. Martin Parish Council, after which I will inform all of our Mayors and other Parish Presidents in our region. I will then submit a press statement to the media and post the information on our social media. I WILL NOT CONVENE A PRESS CONFERENCE.
A positive test result does not in and of itself require any special measures. Given the nature of this virus, positive test results are expected, and the previously imposed mitigation measures/restrictions have been structured in anticipation of positive tests. Keep in mind, that as more people are tested, the more likelihood there is for positive tests.
Everyone is urged to continue to adhere to the measures set forth in the well-publicized executive orders and proclamations. Moreover, no one should abandon the practice of social distancing, and all of us should adopt these precautions: frequently washing of hands for at least 20 seconds, covering a cough or sneeze with the arm, avoiding touching your face, routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and staying at home if you feel sick.
Please read this message in connection with my previous reports/updates. Also, we will continue to post developments as circumstances with COVID-19 develop.