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Vernon Parish COVID-19 positivity rate is at 3%

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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LEESVILLE, La. (KALB) - The holidays are just around the corner, which means family gatherings are in order, but COVID-19 is still the invisible enemy. Local doctors are asking the public to remain vigilant. In Vernon Parish, just over 30% of the population has been vaccinated.

Dr. David Holcombe, the medical director for the Office of Public Health Region 6, is asking those who have not chosen to get vaccinated to continue to wear a mask and wash their hands regularly. Dr. Holcombe said the Central Louisiana area has a positivity rate of 1%, while Vernon Parish alone has a 3% positivity rate. Dr. Holcombe said that people who are vaccinated are recommended to follow the same health protocols as people who aren’t vaccinated during gatherings.

“Even if you’re vaccinated, it will be worthwhile to wear a mask, if you are unvaccinated, it is a common courtesy and the socially responsible thing to wear a mask, so that’s our best advice,” he said.

Dr. David Aymond, who works at the Byrd Regional Hospital in Leesville, recommends having your family gatherings outside to prevent others from contracting the virus.

“If you’re going to be in an indoor space and it’s possible and not too cold, move it outside. If you can’t do that, open the windows,” he said.

According to Dr. Aymond, the hospital doesn’t have COVID-19 patients at the moment, but the Delta variant spike impacted the Byrd Regional Hospital immensely.

“We had a lot sicker people all at once, and so the last waves we would have a lot of people, but they would come in over several weeks or months. With this one, they all come in upfront, a lot of people come in very quickly,” he said.

Louisiana currently has a vaccination rate of 47.8%, which ranks 44th out of 50 in the country. West Virginia is currently the lowest state with a 41% vaccination rate. Even though the vaccine doesn’t prevent you from contracting the virus, Dr. Holcombe said it’s the best way to mitigate symptoms and protect those around you.

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