St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper has penned a personal letter to Governor John Bel Edwards asking him to consider regional implementation of COVID-19 recovery phases, in lieu of the current statewide implementation model. In addition, Cooper’s letter asks that the Governor make the criteria for any Parish to enter Phase 3 available to Parish leaders state-wide so that each region can base their decisions on phased re-openings using these criteria. This letter supports similar appeals to the Governor by the St. Tammany Parish Council as well as the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce.
“As I have said from the start of our emergency response to this pandemic, I want to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy. St. Tammany has risen to the call, as a community, to take personal responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health of our citizens — especially the most vulnerable. We want to use this momentum to move into the next phase, to increase capacity in our small businesses and our restaurants, while keeping precautions in place so that our economy can begin to robustly recover. I have faith in our citizens that we will continue to take personal responsibility to do what is necessary to slow the spread and simultaneously support our local businesses. We want to begin to resume a sense of normalcy, and to strike the balance for the health of our economy.”
Cooper stresses that he wants safety protocols — wearing a mask in public, physically distancing, and practicing personal hygiene — to remain in place going forward. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, 90,230 tests have been administered in St. Tammany, with 6,220 total positive cases reported. This is a 6.89% positivity rate.