OUACHITA PARISH, La (06/24/20) — “There have been more than 51,600 confirmed cases or coronavirus in Louisiana with more than three thousand deaths,” said Dr. Frank Welch, Medical Director for the Bureau for Community Preparedness Louisiana Office of Public Health.
And closer to home, health officials are seeing Monroe as what they call a high incidence of new cases.
“In Monroe, we are having a lot of spread. Now part of this is because I think when people get ill, they’re contacting their doctor and may have a lower threshold however when we do that testing in Monroe, we are seeing a lot of positives,” said Welch.
Reported cases in Ouachita Parish totaled to 2,066 on Wednesday.
“We’ve learned when you’re outdoors, it doesn’t spread nearly as easily. However, when you are in a room with other people it spread quite a bit easy especially if you are within six feet of those other people and for more than 10 or 15 minutes,” said Welch.
But as summer heat picks up, Dr. Welch says this type of coronavirus hasn’t been known to decrease when comparing it to other types of coronavirus like the common cold.
“We can look at places in the Southern Hemisphere over our winter which had severe coronavirus outbreaks. We can look at places in the tropics right now like Brazil are having rampant outbreaks or coronavirus. And the United States as we get warmer and warmer, we’re increasing the number of cases,” said Welch.
While the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control are repeated multiple times a day, Dr. Welch says the spread is greatly diminished if you are wearing a mask; especially if you are asymptomatic to the virus and could unknowingly be spreading it.
“If we then combine mask-wearing, keeping six feet away from other people, with washing our hands and making sure that if you are sick you stay home and call your doctor, those are the things that are going to slow down the spread,” said Welch.
Welch says if the numbers don’t continue to decrease, there’s a chance the state could move back into lockdown or a previous phase if the healthcare system couldn’t handle the capacity of patients. He also says even if you have a sore throat or what you think is bad allergies, stay home because you could be asymptomatic.