COVINGTON, La. — St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston said his parish may be on the cusp of another COVID-19 surge after the area reported hundreds of new cases last week.
Preston cited data from the Louisiana Department of Health which reported 320 new COVID-19 cases last week for every 100,000 residents. The coroner said that there were 16.8 new hospitalizations for every 100,000 residents.
"St. Tammany currently has one of the highest admission rates in the state," Preston said. "When you look at all the indicators, they suggest we are on the beginning of another spike, as had been predicted."
At least 859 people in St. Tammany Parish have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified St. Tammany as having a "high" community level of COVID-19.
In response, Preston has directed all Coroner's Office staff to resume wearing masks and face coverings when at the facility, and visitors will be required to wear masks too.
“Please remember COVID is potentially deadly, and if you are sick don’t go to work and risk infecting others,” Preston said. "Vaccination without masks, social distancing, frequent hand-washing and isolation when sick will not succeed. This pandemic is not over.”
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