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St. John COVID-19 cases drop in February

The number of COVID-19 infections in St. John Parish registered a sharp decline, with a total of 218 new cases in February compared to 532 cases in January. The number of deaths also declined to a total of only three, compared to eight in January. This corresponds to a big decline in cases of COVID statewide, as well as hospitalization and use of intensive care units and ventilators.

This large decline in cases occurred with the increased rollout of COVID-19 vaccination programs locally and statewide, which have shown to be very effective at preventing the disease and reducing its spread. The vaccines have also shown to be very safe with relatively mild and short-lived side effects, thus increasing public confidence and demand for vaccination.

Vaccine production has steadily increased and will increase in the coming months, along with more sites for administering the vaccine. At present, our country has recorded over 52 million people that have received at least one dose, and if these trends continue we will have almost half of our country’s population vaccinated

by mid-summer. As the COVID-19 numbers continue to decline, there is hope that we will be able to control the spread of this disease and resume more “normal” activities.

Unfortunately, we have seen a sharp increase in death by suicide and substance abuse in the past nine months, both nationally and locally which has drawn attention from medical and mental health workers, along with law-enforcement agencies. The isolation and mental and physical stress in dealing with COVID-19 restrictions has played a large role in the increase, which has been a less recognized menace from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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