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Parish coronavirus cases jump to 12

Nancy Bergeron
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
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Leader photo by Celeste Traylor

Ruston’s Green Clinic Director of Laboratory Services Tammy Singleton, left, accepts a donation of gloves and surgical masks from Dr. Chris Robinson, of Caples and Robinson Orthodontics, on Tuesday while nurse Charlie Patton looks on.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Lincoln Parish have now jumped to 12, according to statistics released at noon Tuesday by the Louisiana Department of Health.

That’s a 50 percent increase over the eight cases reported Monday.

The figures do not show the ages of the patients or whether they are hospitalized.

The last official detailed report received by Lincoln Parish Director of Homeland Security Kip Franklin came Saturday. At the time, there were six diagnosed local cases with those ill ranging in age from mid 70s to 21.

Three of the patients were from Ruston; two from the Choudrant area, and one from the Simsboro area. Two of the six were in the same family, Franklin said.

None of the six were hospitalized.

Statewide, cases statewide were at 5,237 on Tuesday. That’s a jump of 1,212 cases since Monday. The death told stands at 239 with 54 new deaths reported on Tuesday. The novel virus is now in 60 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes.

The first Lincoln Parish cases of COVID-19, the name given the disease caused by the virus, were confirmed on March 22. Though a third Lincoln Parish case was listed on the state statistics on March 26, officials later discovered the individual, while tested here, was not a Lincoln Parish resident.

Numbers reported by LDH are supposed to be cases by parish of residence of the patients only. The non-parish resident was apparently still counted in the March 27 tally of seven local cases.

The number dropped to six the next day, but by Monday climbed to eight and now 12.

Despite the increase, one that some officials say reflects increased COVID-19 testing, Franklin said Lincoln Parish residents are doing a good job in staying at home as much as possible and helping each other when they can.

He also commended local churches for using social media or other safe mean to provide worship for congregants even when congregations aren’t physically gathering.

“I think that’s a real compliment to the people of Lincoln Parish, that they’re trying to make the best of it,” he said.

Meantime, as of Monday most Lincoln Parish healthcare facilities still appeared to be in good shape with supplies of personal protective equipment for frontline workers and could come in contact with coronavirus patients, according to reports shared with Franklin’s office.

But individuals or businesses that may have masks, gloves or other protective equipment they’re not using should still consider donating them for disbursement later to healthcare workers and first responders, Franklin said.

While the parish has received two shipments for PPE from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and other providers, not everything came.

Disposable gowns ordered got diverted; instead the parish received a dozen or more boxes of Tyvek protective coveralls. But the coveralls can be turned into makeshift gowns by cutting off the legs, Franklin said.

“We’re improvising,” he said.

Caples and Robinson Orthodontics on Tuesday donated three cases of gloves and about 25 surgical masks to Ruston’s Green Clinic.

The orthodontics office is temporarily closed because of statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses.

“We’re happy to help wherever we can with masks, gloves and prayer in times like these,” said orthodontist Chris Robinson.

To donate

Anyone wanting to donate masks, gloves, gowns or other personal protective equipment for local healthcare workers and first responders should take the items to the Lincoln Parish Public Safety Complex on Road Camp Road.