First positive COVID-19 case confirmed in Jeff Davis Parish

Updated: Mar. 24, 2020 at 7:35 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JEFF DAVIS, La. (KPLC) - The Louisiana Department of Health has announced Jeff Davis Parish’s first confirmed positive COVID-19 case.

The Jeff Davis Parish Unified Command Group along with LDH made the announcement during a press conference at Jennings American Legion Hospital Tuesday.

“The big piece of news this morning is that this parish has had a confirmed case and that will eventually show up online," said LDH Region 5 Medical Director, Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh.

While very little is known about this latest patient to test positive for Covid-19, what is known is that they are not currently seeking care at a hospital or nursing care facility.

“Whether we have 1 case or 20 cases, the message is still the same," said Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh along with Jennings Mayor Henry Guinn and Jeff Davis Sheriff Ivy Woods made the announcement at Jennings American Legion Hospital--where the case was identified.

“What’s important to know is that this is just the first identified case, we do fully expect that there are other cases out there,” said Jennings American Legion CEO Dana Williams.

When asked if cities like Jennings are prepared for a potential spread, Mayor Henry Guinn says his office is already putting preventative measures into place.

“We’re on a rotation basis right now in case someone falls ill, we have the ability to man our water, and sewer systems,” said Guinn. “Practices we’ve put in with our landscape crew, who were typically keeping our town aesthetically pleasing, we have diverted them to sanitizing gas pumps.”

Prior to this first case and Governor Edwards statewide stay-at-home order, Jeff Davis already had a parish-wide curfew in place--something Sheriff Ivy Woods notes as beneficial and if not followed could result in a hefty fine or possible jail time.

“With the governor’s order, we’re treating it as a 24-hour curfew," said Woods.

Being that state officials anticipate a gradual increase in cases, a big worry is will hospitals like the American Legion be able to meet the demand?

“We’re trying to make sure we keep an accurate inventory..we’re reporting that off on a regular basis to OEP so we can assure we have what we need, as reserves become somewhat depleted," said Williams

The parish-wide curfew for Jeff Davis goes into effect every night, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Officials said they will continue to enforce the curfew until further notice.

Copyright 2020 KPLC. All rights reserved.