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Governor And Local Officials Ask Residents To STAY AT HOME And Act As If You Have COVID-19

Dear Readers,

As I sit here at my computer I feel like I am at a loss for words.

In my lifetime, which thus far is a mere 42-years, nothing comes close to the COVID-19 virus and how it has and how it continues to effect and change every aspect of our lives.

Every time there is a natural disaster I think - Mother Nature sure has a way of waking us up and reminding us all of her strength and power.

We all know about hurricanes, floods, wild fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, blizzards and volcanoes, but I think I am like most that a virus was not on my radar of threats to watch out for.

As the world struggles to cope and slow the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19, I think the best recommendation I have heard thus far from our leaders was from Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who on Sunday said, “Act like you have the virus.”

Unless you really, and I mean really, have to go out in public to get something you absolutely have to have, then stay your butt at home.

We are at a crucial junction in this fight. We either “Flatten the Curve”, which at this point we should all understand what this means, or we keep spreading the virus, more and more people get sick, and the health care system becomes inundated with sick people.

The later is a nightmare scenario for the extremely brave doctors, nurses and health care professionals fighting this virus on the front lines.

In other countries, most notably Italy, reports are surfacing that doctors, because there are not enough necessary medical equipment and supplies, are having to choose who gets medical care and who does not. In other words - Who lives and who dies.

I don’t know about you, but I do not want our doctors having to make such decisions.

What I do know is that we, as St. James Parish residents, as Louisiana residents, and as U.S. citizens, have a duty to our local healthcare workers, our Parish, our State and our Country to do everything in our power to do our part - to be part of the solution and not contribute to the problem.

I also want to say a few words to all keyboard/Facebook/social media users who continue to criticize the actions and decisions of our local leaders in Parish government and the local hospital.

Please Stop!

Social media is a wonderful tool for staying in touch with friends and family, but it is also a terrible mechanism to spread rumors, hate and criticism.

I encourage all of you to be responsible while using social media. Don’t share things that begin with, “I heard... or My friend’s mother’s boss, who works for the FBI, said....

Please rely on reputable sources for your COVID-19 news and information. Let the Governor, the local hospital, or the Parish Government feed you the latest news on the virus.

Our local leaders and their employees are doing the very best they can and they do not need unjust criticism in these strange times. No one has experience in these matters and they are only trying to protect you, me and our loved ones.

Instead of second guessing and criticizing their decisions, try to encourage others to do what is right, promote and share reliable and vital information, and try to not get caught up in the finger-pointing game.

Like I said earlier, act like you have the Coronavirus and then it won’t matter if the hospital has one positive case or fifty, or whether they share that information with the public in the time frame you think they should. It really doesn’t matter!

What matters is that you act as if you have it you won’t spread it!

Here in St. James Parish we have a lot of elderly and many of our friends and families have other health issues and this new virus is extremely dangerous to many.

Now is the time to Stay AT HOME. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for everyone else you know and love.

For the latest on combatting COVID-19, please visit the St. James Parish Hospital website sjph.org/coronavirus-information, the St. James Parish Government’s website stjamesparishla.gov and the St. James Parish School Board’s site stjames.k12.la.us.

Officials Speak To Public Through Video

Monday afternoon, St. James Parish President Peter Dufresne, Hospital CEO MaryEllen Pratt, Superintendent Ed Cancienne and St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin, Jr. all spoke to the public via a video message and all stressed the importance of abiding by the Governor’s most recent Stay At Home order.

President Dufresne stressed the importance of following all the suggestions, recommendations and orders issued to combat the Coronavirus.

Dufresne said even though the Parish offices are closed to the public, residents should call the pertinent department should a problem arise and his administration will do what is possible to rectify the issue.

Pratt reassured the public that the Hospital is releasing data, such as the number of positive cases of COVID-19, to the public as fast as they are allowed to.

She also asked to please follow the Hospital’s guidelines should you or a loved one begin to see or feel the symptoms related to COVID-19. (see the Hospital’s website on what to do when symptoms present themselves)

Concerning the School District, Superintendent Cancienne also stressed the importance of following the Governor’s Order.

In his speech, Cancienne:

*Asked every parent of a public school student to please fill out the technology survey found at the District’s website sjph.org because the information gathered is vitally important.

*Reported the school meal/feeding program has been suspended indefinitely.

*Stressed that each and every school district owned building, which includes gyms, batting cages and other athletic facilities, are closed to the public.

*Asked parents and students to visit the District website for “Online Resources”, which will help students fill idle time and that the resources, for now, will be available through the Easter break (April 13th).

Sheriff Martin began his message by sincerely thanking the health workers at the hospital and said he is proud of each and every one of them.

Martin said at this time there is no curfew in the State or the Parish, but asked that residents act like there is a curfew in place and to not travel unnecessarily and to not gather in groups of 10 or more.

He said should more than 10 get together his office will deal with them appropriately.

Martin said the Governor’s Orders are in fact law and he strongly asked local residents to follow the Order.

The Sheriff also said if residents are unclear about the details of the new State Stay At Home order, they should visit the Governor’s website and read the Order. If questions further arise, Martin asked residents to call his office or the Parish for clarification.

News Examiner-Enterprise

2290 Texas St.
Lutcher, LA 70071
PH: (225) 869-5784