Thursday, November 19, 2020
The holiday season is essentially upon us, and unfortunately we are simultaneously managing a rise in COVID-19 numbers throughout not only the State, but the nation as well. We have known since the start of 2020 that COVID-19 would impact all aspects of our lives, and the holiday season is no exception. The good news is we are all aware of the mitigation measures in place, recommended by medical professionals, and that will help us slow the spread of the virus. As we have done through every new phase of reopening, we will exercise these measures through the holiday season. Our goal is — and always has been — to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy, and to do our parts to ensure our hospitals have ample resources to treat not only COVID-19 patients, but also patients who have other needs as well.
Each one of us can play a part in helping to protect the most vulnerable among us through personal responsibility. I ask every one of you to help me spread this message. We can do this with a few simple steps. Please keep COVID-19 protective measures in mind when planning your holiday. Physically distance, avoid large gatherings — especially gatherings with people you have not been in contact with recently. If you are out in the community wear a mask — especially when inside businesses and restaurants. Our local businesses need us all to help them mitigate the spread within their establishments so their staffs can stay healthy, and their doors can remain open under Phase 3 guidelines. Thank you all for your help in getting these messages out. Dr. Charles Preston was kind enough to tape a Public Service Announcement (PSA) as a companion to one of my own, to augment this message. You may view them here: President Cooper PSA, Dr. Charles Preston PSA. Please feel free to share these links.
The subject of Mardi Gras planning has been at the forefront this week. I remain in coordinated discussions with the municipalities, public agencies, and medical professionals of St. Tammany as we make decisions to determine the safest possible way to go forward with Mardi Gras 2021. No decisions have been firmly made because much discussion remains. Because of the uncertainty, we will continue to monitor how COVID-19 impacts the Parish and base our decisions on what’s best for the entire community. May you all have a safe, happy Thanksgiving. Should you have questions or if I may be of assistance to you in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Michael B. Cooper