Local and state health officials gave the Red River Parish Police Jury an update on the COVID-19 situation in Red River. Health Unit Nursing Supervisor Yashica Turner and Region 7 Medical Director Dr. Martha Whyte presented a picture of increasing incidence of the virus in Red River and northwest Louisiana.
Dr. Whyte said, “We are seeing an increase in the virus all over the state and significantly in northwest Louisiana. There are higher numbers of people in hospitals in District 7, even higher than early March and April. The highest then was 299. Yesterday (Tuesday, January 5th) there were 279 in hospitals. There are not as many on vents, but in the ICU. Many are doing better because we have better ways to treat them.”
Dr. Whyte told the jury in Red River it is a little hard because we don’t have a whole lot of people getting tested. Positivity some weeks is 12% and some weeks it is almost 30% depending upon how many are getting tested.” She added, This tells we have a lot of incidence in the community. As quarantine rules change, we will see more getting tested…. I hope you will encourage people to get tested.”
Yashica Turner explained, “We are doing some testing through the parish health unit. If you don’t have insurance or are concerned with the cost, get the rapid test at health unit.”
More vaccination opportunities are coming to the parish. Dr. Whyte said, “Will be starting drive thru vaccination clinics for half a day.” We don’t have a date for that yet.” She added, “Rapid tests by appointment are available every day 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.
Dr. Whyte said, “If you have symptoms, we can test you. If the test is negative then we send off the sample to be analyzed.” She added, “We want to make sure we get it to people in priority groups. That it is not going to others.”
She said hopefully they can start next week with a drive thru clinic at least once a week. We have been doing drive thru for medical people for a couple of weeks. We will open to priority groups also.”