COVID-19 outbreak concerns Bayou parishes as holiday weekend approaches

Updated: Jul. 2, 2020 at 4:04 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - This 4th of July weekend, Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson worries about crowds heading through the bayou parish into the holiday hot spot Grand Isle.

“This holiday weekend is making me a little anxious,” Chaisson said. “They’re going to be coming back to Lafourche and stopping at restaurants and gas stations and a lot of Lafourche residents go down there for the weekend because they have camps or family members with camps.”

Thursday, the Louisiana Department of Health says there were 24 new cases in Lafourche parish, bringing the total positive cases to 1,201.

“We expect the cases to continue to go up,” Chaisson said. “I think we always have but it’s the rate they’re going up.”

In Terrebonne parish, it is a similar scene. Thursday, the parish added 26 new cases raising the total to 1,094 positive cases since the start of the pandemic.

“In the last few days, we’ve averaged to as much as 18 to 47,” said Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove. “47 is a higher number for us. In the past, we were averaging about 4 to 9 to 10. So, yes we’ve seen an increase.”

Dove attributes the cases to more testing.

“This is far from over. You know we can get through this,” Dove said. “We don’t want to go back to where everyone has to stay at home again. Everyone has to play their part.”

Following Governor John Bel Edwards’ order, Dove ordered the sheriff’s office and Houma Police to enforce face masks and coverings for business owners and their employees.

Chaisson says he’s working closely with the state fire marshal monitoring restaurants with alcohol permits, “they’re turning into more of a bar at night versus a restaurant that will have that larger capacity limit,” said Chaisson. “Restaurants are using that larger capacity limit to get people to the bar sections of their restaurants.”

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