Felicianas fights COVID with prevention, latest treatment options | Oriental Feliciana
The Felicianas are posters for the different fronts in the fight against COVID-19. On the vaccination front, West Feliciana Parish leads the state and stands out in the country with a high percentage of partially and fully vaccinated residents. The parish of East Feliciana is home to the third federally supported monoclonal antibody therapy treatment site, chosen for a mobile or community setting.
The antibody infusion site located outside the Clinton Alternative Learning Center on Plank Road stands out because, unlike the previous distribution, the mobile sites are not based in hospitals or clinics and bring antibody treatments into the backyard of many rural communities.
More than 4,400 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the parish of East Feliciana, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state and the US Census Bureau, but within the first two weeks of operation, the tendency of people to die from COVID-19 complications is on a downward trend.
East Feliciana Parish Director Jody Moreau is encouraged to have this new tool in the parish arsenal. âWe don’t have a lot of accommodations that our bigger neighbors have to support these types of efforts, but when we can get help, we’ll do what’s right,â Moreau said. âAll of our police jurors are 100% behind this site because it will save lives and help us all get through this terrible pandemic faster. “
Moreau’s counterpart in West Feliciana parish celebrated a COVID-19 vaccination victory that put national eyes on his parish’s efforts. Parish president Kenny Havard lit up social media on the night of September 16 to announce that the parish, for a time, has been classified as “at moderate risk” for community transmission of the virus, a distinction owned by only 2% of the nation’s counties / parishes.
The numbers speak of vaccines and medical interventions, but Havard recognized the team mentality when speaking to his constituents.
âI want to personally thank every citizen of this parish,â he said. âPlease continue to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you. We don’t all agree all the time, but we always come together to make West Feliciana proud. “
More positive cases caused fluctuations in community transmission levels, but high vaccination rates in the parish of West Feliciana reduced severe complications and kept the death rate from increasing by 39. CDC and New York Times trackers chart similar figures for the percentage of residents fully vaccinated: 79% of all residents; 89% of those aged 12 and over; and 99% of residents aged 65 and over.
How did we get here?
The tools to fight COVID-19 were very rudimentary at the start of the pandemic. Social distancing and the use of masks have been both encouraged and controversial. Schools have used virtual classrooms, drive-by graduation ceremonies and tools to protect students from exposure to the air. Non-essential businesses were closed and restrictions were slowly added and relaxed as transmission risks were assessed by the governor’s office.
East Feliciana Parish Attraction The Barn Hill Preserve has adapted to open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Car-e-Safaris is allowed to visitors while fully respecting social distancing and necessary health precautions.
West Feliciana Parish businesses participated in St. Francisville Strong when most non-essential businesses were closed. The campaign offered a website to browse local businesses and purchase gift certificates that could be used when those businesses reopened.
The use of masks and the limits on purchases and openings have become a delicate subject as some areas have experienced positive vaccine activity. Havard, an opponent of government mask mandates, urged his constituents to follow the recommendations, but said he felt that in addition to incentives to encourage vaccinations, parishes like West Feliciana should capitalize on behaviors that have leads to high vaccination rates.
âI was wondering why in the world they couldn’t tell the rest of the state, ‘If our goal is to try to increase immunization rates,’ give them a carrot. If you hit 75%, or whatever the number is. they choose, then you can reopen this thing and you don’t have to wear a mask and you can go out to eat out; you can do whatever you can to get back to normal, âhe said.
Deployment of the vaccine and reduction of the mortality rate
These ultimate vaccination goals became a reality in the parish of West Feliciana thanks to a plan and full community buy-in. The parish plan was developed and administered by the health care community, but it included resources and leadership from law enforcement, emergency medical services, the school system, the Council on Aging, and local government .
West Feliciana Parish CDC statistics show 1,492 COVID-19 infections and 39 deaths. The parish is nearly 80% vaccinated, even considering children who are not eligible for vaccination. Statistics from the Parish of East Feliciana show a downward trend of 4,419 COVID-19 infections and 140 deaths. Besides young children, the parish has an 88% vaccination rate for residents, and a 99% rate for those over 65.
New York Times tracker using CDC reports shows that 35% of the population in East Feliciana Parish is fully vaccinated and that number increases to 40% for those 12 and older and 66% for the elderly over 65 years old.
The deployment of the parish of East Feliciana relied heavily on Moreau’s efforts in the often isolated parts of the parish. He revisited many of the vehicles that conducted the tests and provided additional assistance.
âThe week before Ida’s coup, we were supporting a mobile National Guard vaccination throughout the parish,â he said. âWe were able to get them to complete their two days at Clinton and Slaughter, but Ida had us remove the group before they could complete the two days at Jackson. Our local providers, RKM Primary Care, have always provided testing and vaccinations to our residents and still do. â