Covid, flu down so far this year

By Bonnie Culverhouse

While Covid is still on most people’s minds, flu season is just around the corner.

Brian Williams, Office of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security told members of the Webster Parish Police Jury that flu cases in the Webster Parish Courthouse are down because of precautions taken for Covid.

“While the Governor’s mask mandate was lifted for pretty much everything, the courthouse is still recommending masks,” Williams said. “It seems to work for them. And the annex is still mandatory for masks for visitors.”

Williams said there are plenty of masks at both locations. 

“We are putting back the temperature screening machine at the courthouse main entrance,” he said. “It’s partially for Covid stuff but mainly for flu. We have a lot of flu cases in the courthouse every year, but with Covid mandates, temp checks and extra spraying, it’s helped cases of flu, too.”

The Covid positivity rate for the local region was at 9.4 percent last week, which was up from 8.6 percent the week before.

“Since last month, we’ve had  242 new positive cases and four deaths,” Williams said. “Our region is down to 45 patients in the hospital and seven on ventilators.

“We do have just under 17,000 people vaccinated in then parish, which is about 43 percent of the total population,” he continued.

The Louisiana Department of Health website reports that of those not fully vaccinated (between October 21-27), 83 percent were responsible for new cases of Covid, 80 percent of the deaths and 89 percent of hospitalizations.

“There are still locations across the state that have vaccine,” Williams said. “Just go to vaccines.gov to find a location across the parish.”

Also from noon until 6 p.m. November 10, the Webster Parish Health Unit will have drive-by Flu and COVID vaccinations at no charge, regardless of insurance status.


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