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Local leaders hoping curve will stay flattened

Life returning to normal is goal

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Like every other parish in Louisiana, COVID-19 severely affected the day-to-day lives of people living in Iberia Parish as well as the Teche Area.

But with a continuing drop in infection and death rates, local leaders are hoping that the curve will stay flattened and people in southwest Louisiana can get back to their regular lives.

At the latest count, there were 6,585 cases of COVID-19 contracted in Iberia Parish from March 2020 to March 2021.

Of those who had contracted the virus, 149 people from Iberia Parish died as as result of the pandemic.

The pandemic was at its most severe in July of 2020, where at one point Iberia Parish was reaching an average of 60 new cases per day. Mid-November and mid-January were also crucial points in the pandemic’s local curve, with some weeks seeing averages of up to 50 people getting COVID-19.

Since Jan. 10, Iberia Parish has fortunately seen a continual decline in the number of local people contracting the virus.

Between March 1 and March 12, the average number of cases hovered between one new case to 12 cases per day, a remarkable decrease that has been in line with the statewide trend.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Iberia Parish Government has been aggressive in pushing testing for residents who potentially have the virus, and in the past few months parish leaders have been equally passionate about providing as many vaccines for residents as possible.

Vaccine events have taken place where local residents can get a vaccination for COVID-19 at locations such as the SugArena. Iberia Parish President Larry Richard said that more than 700 people ventured out for a vaccine at an event there in early March.

Richard also said he is encouraging all residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot if they are eligible, and to use ongoing testing sites provided by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Local businesses also are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic. On March 3, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana would be entering Phase 3 of the state’s re-opening.

The new phase came with loosened regulations surrounding safety precautions for the pandemic, including dine-in services for coffee shops and diners, as well as more people allowed in church services.

At the same time, local officials are hoping that local residents continue to remain vigilant about the dangerous nature of COVID-19.

“I ask that you continue to go about your activities in a safe manner so we can see the numbers continue to decline,” Richard said.

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