LAFAYETTE, La. — In Wednesday’s press briefing Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory compared the coronavirus’s toll on Lafayette Parish and to another Louisiana parish.
East Baton Rouge Parish has roughly twice the population of Lafayette Parish, but statistics on the Louisiana Department of Health webpage show that fact has made little difference when it comes to COVID-19.
“Our numbers are by percentage obviously better than what we see in our counterparts in Baton Rouge right now,” said Dr. Michael Odinet, an emergency medical doctor at Our Lady of Lourdes.
Wednesday, April 1st’s numbers show Lafayette Parish has administered 4,150 COVID-19 tests compared to East Baton Rouge’s 3,241.
Lafayette parish also has half the rate of positive test results compared to East Baton Rouge which has a 7.5% positive test rate. Lafayette currently has 3.8% rate for tests returning positive.
Officials credit compliance with social distancing and starting one of the state’s first drive-thru screening sites as contributors to the difference.
Dr. Odinet remarked, “By the numbers that he (Guillory) gave you earlier, I think that we can see some of those things come to fruition…We definitely want Acadiana to keep doing the things that we’ve been advocating as far as social distancing, handwashing, things of that nature.”
Guillory added, “I know you hear it every single day, but that is good because you can’t hear it enough. I can’t hear it enough. You can’t implement this enough.”
Lafayette is still awaiting results from 40% of its tests and is expecting a continued increase in cases and reported deaths. Leaders warn not to take this information as a job well done, but a message to keep living responsibly.
“This is a good start, but we still have a long way to go,” admitted Guillory. “One thing we do know is the more serious we take it, the sooner it will be over.”
A further dive in the numbers between parishes shows Lafayette has a significantly lower death rate. Two of Lafayette Parish’s 159 cases have ended in death so far, but of East Baton Rouge Parish’s 244 cases, 10 people have died.