During a press briefing held by Governor John Bel Edwards, officials warned that Acadiana is one of three regions severely impacted by COVID-19. Officials with Lafayette General Hospital said 87% of requests for hospitalization have been declined because of the lack of space. At Lafayette General Hospital, half the beds are currently occupied by COVID-19 patients says officials. Governor Edwards continues to urge residents to follow the guidelines that have been put in place which include: washing your hands, practicing social distincing by remaining 6 feet or more apart from others and wearing a mask.
Regional Administrator Jeff Toms recently shared his insights and experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic in the "Q&A with the RMDs" series on the LDH Blog.
"Personally, I am seeing a decline in both the wearing of masks and in practicing social distancing. It seems there was a drop in following these public health recommendations as restrictions were eased and people began to go out in public," Toms writes of northeast Louisiana.
Toms oversees Region 8, which includes the parishes of Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Lincoln, Jackson, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union and West Carroll.
Louisiana’s nine regional medical directors (RMDs) or administrators oversee the parish health units that serve the daily public health needs of their communities. These public health leaders are in constant contact with state health leadership and local leaders to help guide residents through the COVID-19 public health emergency, particularly among key demographics.
Throughout this week, mobile testing sites in southwest Louisiana will be open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. from through Friday, July 24.
These sites will be using the laboratory eTrueNorth to conduct the tests and provide results, which are available about 72 hours after being tested. Pre-registration is NOT required but encouraged by going to www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com.
Those who are pre-registered can use an express line for faster testing. On-site registration is also available, but testing will take longer than arriving with pre-registration completed.
People must provide a telephone number and email address to be tested. An ID is NOT required.
Test results will be provided by email notification and on the eTrueNorth portal. If someone tests positive, they will also be contacted by phone. There is no phone number to call for results. Results will only be provided by email and in the portal.
Mobile testing uses trucks and equipment operated by the Louisiana National Guard to bring testing kits to neighborhood locations such as schools, community centers, fire stations and other local neighborhood locations.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Test site details
The sites are staffed by members of LANG and are open for a period of five days per week: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to approximately 2 p.m.
Testing is for open for any Louisiana resident 16 years of age and older. LANG-operated sites require valid Louisiana identification. However, other testing sites may not require ID.
Each testing site will be conducted as a drive-thru test site.
Once on site, those being tested will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check and self-administered test. Walk-up testing is not preferred due to safety concerns, but walk-ups will not be turned away.
The site will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose on site while in their vehicles, observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly, and drop the sealed sample into a container on their way out of the drive-thru site.
Once received, test results will be available in the eTrueNorth portal and by email. Those who test positive will receive a phone call.
While awaiting results, individuals who have been tested should follow CDC guidelines and take steps to help prevent the virus from spreading to people in their home and community.
Save the number 877-766-2130 in your phone
Anyone who receives a call from 877-766-2130 is urged to answer, as the call is from a contact tracer who will keep an individual's information private. Personal information is used to quickly identify anyone a COVID-positive individual may have been in close contact with to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. Everyone called by a contact tracer is advised to watch themselves for signs of illness for 14 days from when they first came in contact with the COVID-19 person.
If a resource need is identified through the contact tracing interview, the case is flagged for follow-up from a resource coordinator social worker who can connect individuals with resources including medication, masks, food assistance and even help locating alternative housing.
Contact tracers employed by LDH will only ask you for your first and last name and your date of birth to confirm that you are the person they intended to call. They will not ask for any financial information, social security numbers or health insurance information. If someone claiming to be employed by LDH does ask for that, immediately hang up and call 877-766-2130 to be connected with LDH's contact tracers.
As of Thursday, July 23, 2020 according to the Louisiana Department of Health, Louisiana has 101,650 COVID-19 cases across the state and 3,574 deaths reported.
Presumed Recovered-61,456 as of 7/19/2020
Acadia- 2,084 cases,61 deaths
Evangeline-579 cases, 2 deaths
Iberia- 1,852 cases,56 deaths
Jeff Davis-859 cases,22 deaths
Lafayette-5,458 cases,71 deaths
St. Landry- 1,737 cases, 68 deaths
St. Martin- 1,353 cases, 34 deaths
St. Mary- 1,215 cases, 40 deaths
Vermilion-969 cases,12 deaths
2,296 new cases reported in the state with 16 new deaths resulting from COVID-19.