NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – The city’s director of health, Dr. Jennifer Avigno, has called for a “short period” of mass concealment of public spaces in public spaces to avoid an outbreak of a growing wave of COVID-19 infections being detected in New Orleans.
Avegno said Tuesday (May 17) that recent test results have made officials very concerned about the possibility of a large summer wave of illness that could overwhelm hospitals, similar to what happened with last summer’s spread of the Delta variant.
“Wearing a high-quality mask has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of transmission of the virus,” Avegno said. “And so, given that we are on the cusp, or in the middle – wherever we are on this increase – we would highly recommend returning to an extensive and extensive indoor concealment in public.
“If we, as a society, can adopt the inner mask in the short term but on a large scale again, we can go back to no need for the mask faster. … I want to stress that this is not a mandate. But, the more people do it That will determine how long or short we stay in the surge, how many people get sick and how much business disruption we face. If we wear them for a short period of time, we’ll get back to normal quickly.”
The increase in cases was revealed by on-site test results reported to city and state health departments, and in a sewage test that Avegno said showed increased infections in the New Orleans hospitality district and in residential neighborhoods.
“In the Diocese of Orleans, as of (Monday), our average daily caseload was 155 – that’s a fivefold increase from last month,” she said. “We still do a lot of PCR testing, and that’s being reported, but we recognize that most individuals use the tests at home. So, we know that the total number of cases is a huge underrepresentation of the true burden of disease.”
It is clear that the virus is spreading widely. … The good news is that we are not seeing pressure on the capacity of our hospitals yet.”
“The City of New Orleans remains vigilant in our response to COVID-19 and is taking the necessary steps to prevent seeing a further increase in elevated levels of infection in our city,” Mayor Latoya Cantrell said.
“As recommended by Dr. Jennifer Avigno, who has guided us through the ongoing pandemic from day one, wearing masks indoors, washing hands, vaccinations, boosters and getting tests when you are unwell are our most effective tools against COVID-19. These measures will help In mitigating the surge in infections we’re seeing now and seeing over the past two years.The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and we will continue to follow the guidelines set by the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.I urge residents to protect themselves and use the mitigation measures put in place to help prevent another significant increase. Cantrell said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“We think we have plenty of time” to anticipate a big increase in the summer, Avegno said. But it cautioned that this would only be possible if enough people were vaccinated, their protections updated when it was time for booster injections, and safety and mitigation measures practiced that have been largely abandoned in recent months, as largely unmasked groups congregate at festivals. Graduation, spring weddings and lobster boil.
“We’ll go back to basics — testing, concealment, vaccination and treatment,” Avigno said, referring to the therapeutic drug Baxilphide, a treatment pill that was not yet available in the past two summers of the pandemic.
“Test early and often, that’s what I’m going to tell everyone on this hike. If you’ve been exposed — and many of us have in recent days — get tested as soon as you learn of exposure, then test several days later.
“If you start developing any symptoms — anything, from a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, fever, body aches, feeling very tired, stomach problems — Covid can manifest in many ways. So, get this test done. The sooner you can Knowing if you get infected, the fewer people you will infect.”
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