COVID-19 case numbers are on a slow climb in six north Louisiana parishes in Louisiana, including Jackson Parish. Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Region 7 director, Dr. Martha Whyte, said while case numbers and hospital data are still looking good, the past two weeks have seen 18 parishes in the state with an above 5% positivity rate.
According to data issued by the LDH on May 22nd, the test positivity rate in Jackson Parish is very high, suggesting that cases are being significantly undercounted. Cases have decreased over the past week but are still very high and the number of hospitalized Covid patients has risen. Deaths have remained at about the same level. Because of the high Covid-19 transmission in Jackson Parish, unvaccinated people are at an extremely high risk while fully vaccinated people are shown to be at minimal risk Recommended precautions are shown below.
If you’re fully vaccinated:
Individuals are fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their final vaccine dose. If you are fully vaccinated, you may choose to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for fully vaccinated people since your risk of getting sick is much lower.
(1) Indoor activities are at a lower risk: It’s low-risk to have indoor visits, such as inviting another household over for dinner without masks and without social distancing, as long as the size of these gatherings is limited to a few households.
(2) You can travel more freely: Fully vaccinated people can resume domestic travel and don’t need to get tested or self-quarantine after traveling. International travel may be riskier than domestic travel. Check the C.D.C.’s country-specific Covid-19 risk and international travel requirements before traveling to a different country. Keep in mind that receiving medical care, even for unrelated conditions, may become difficult if hospitals at your travel destination are overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients.
(3) It is still recommended to wear masks in a few places: If you’re fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask in most settings. The C.D.C. still recommends wearing a mask in settings where Covid-19 may spread more easily, including healthcare facilities, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, transportation hubs and on all forms of public transportation. This helps protect people who may be particularly vulnerable to the virus and also to prevent spread.
If you are not fully vaccinated:
(1) Indoor activities are extremely dangerous right now: Given the severity of the outbreak in Jackson Parish, spending time inside with people from other households puts you at risk for getting the coronavirus or spreading it to others. Avoid indoor dining, bars, gyms, movie theaters and nonessential shopping, as well as having friends over to your home, and indoor personal care services like haircuts and manicures.
(2) Avoid events with more than a handful of people: Weddings, funerals, concerts, sporting events and other gatherings that bring multiple households together are places where Covid can spread easily. At this level of risk, even outdoor events are not safe, so consider postponing. Religious services are safest when conducted outdoors and without singing.
(3) Outdoor activities can be a good substitute: Because of the extremely high risk of exposure to Covid in Jackson Parish, even outdoor dining and outdoor bars are unsafe. Walking, cycling, running and other outdoor individual workouts are the safest kinds of exercise. Low-contact outdoor sports like singles tennis, skateboarding and golf may be enjoyed safely. Contact sports like basketball and soccer should be avoided.