Health experts advise against lax COVID precautions during holiday season
BATON ROUGE - Health experts in Louisiana are urging residents to remain extremely cautious as the holiday season continues.
Though it may be tempting to take a gamble and ignore COVID precautions by gathering with friends and family members who we miss seeing, state officials and medical professionals are encouraging locals to remember that our actions during the pandemic, and whether or not we heed medical advice, will have a direct impact on the lives and health of our friends, family members, and fellow residents.
Days before the Thanksgiving Day holiday, Governor John Bel Edwards issued the following statement, "Everyone has a responsibility to protect those around them. Think about those you love and what you would do to protect them from getting sick. It’s up to each and every one of us to be responsible and prevent the spread of COVID this holiday season."
Most healthcare professionals agree that one way to protect ourselves and others is to avoid large in-person gatherings and to even limit exposure to large crowds in stores and other seemingly 'typical' aspects of daily life.
This may include utilizing a local grocery store's online shopping and grocery pick-up features as opposed to venturing into the building to browse among throngs of holiday shoppers.
Experts also recommend speaking to a doctor and if needed, getting tested for COVID should you experience flu-like symptoms or if you discover you've been around someone who tested positive for COVID.
Dr. Manish Mishra, a physician with Our Lady of the Lake's (OLOL) recently built Mid City OLOL location in Capital Heights suggested speaking with a physician via video conference regarding any potential COVID symptoms that you feel you're experiencing. Such video visits can be a precursor to actual testing.
"Video visits are a great option. We opt for that for new patients that may want to get established but may have some concerns that they have COVID." Dr. Mishra told WBRZ. "It's a great way to discuss those symptoms that you may be having. You may be able to get an inhaler for type of wheezing or any types of shortness of breath before you go in to get any testing itself."
When it comes to the question of where to go to be tested for COVID, dozens of medical facilities across south Louisiana offer testing services, and many such locations are listed in the Louisiana Department of Health's (LDH) COVID Testing Locations chart below. (You can also access this chart in a separate webpage by clicking here.)
On Wednesday, Gov. Edwards reiterated the need to mask up and avoid large in-person gatherings, saying, "Now is the time for Louisianans to double down on our efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. There is a light at the end of this tunnel, but until then we need to make sure we are doing everything possible to protect others and ourselves."
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