OUACHITA PARISH, LA. (07/13/2020)– High schools in Ouachita Parish are celebrating the Class of 2020 with graduations this week. Ouachita Parish Schools Superintendent Don Coker said although masks are not mandatory to attend graduations, they are highly encouraged.
“In situations where there might not be or can’t control social distancing from other people, I would 100% recommend wearing the mask,” Billy Branch, Internal Medicine and Pediatrician Physician, said.
Billy Branch said friends and families attending should keep in mind the importance of wearing masks at all times, including when you are outdoors.
“I know it’s Louisiana and it’s hot and it’s humid, but the interest is still there of trying to prevent COVID-19 infection,” Branch said.
Despite the mask mandate, the CDC recommends that groups are kept at 50 people or less and social distancing is practiced. Health professionals say if you are attending an event or in a large group, your mask is the only thing protecting you against the virus.
“We don’t know that everybody who isn’t around couldn’t be an asymptomatic carrier and then just by wearing your mask,” Branch said. “You have prevented yourself and potentially your family members from getting COVID-19.”
Professionals say masks not only keep you from inhaling the virus, but also prevents you from touching your face and being exposed to COVID-19 through objects you may have come into contact with.