LAFAYETTE, La. — Lafayette Consolidated Government administration officials provided updates on the on-going COVID-19 public health emergency during its daily press briefing on Thursday at City Hall in Lafayette.
Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory was joined Thursday by several local faith leaders including Bishop Douglas Deshotel, Pastor Bobby Richard and Pastor Carlos Harvin, who also serves in Guillory's administration.
Guillory said that efforts across the parish and region appear to show early evidence that the curve is flatting, but that shouldn't be a reason to become complacent or to stop social distancing measures.
Guillory said that while it may be difficult, Lafayette Parish residents should continue observing social distancing measures this Easter weekend and resist the temptation to gather in large groups to celebrate with family and friends.
He said that crawfish boils should be avoided this weekend especially if they include groups of 10 or more people.
Guillory said that while the community has a deep impulse to gather and celebrate their faith for the Easter weekend, they should worship at home and communicate with friends and family by phone or video chat.
"It is critically important that we maintain the social distancing guidelines, so that we can enjoy a lifting of these restrictions at the end of the month," said Guillory.
However, Guillory suggested that residents could still support the crawfish industry from a distance by making to go orders from local crawfish restaurants.
"We’ve come so far as a parish, let’s not do anything this weekend that would help spread the virus," said Guillory.
Deshotel also took to the podium on Thursday to urge his congregants to maintain social distancing this weekend, which he said is showing signs that it is working.
"The more we adhere to it and show discipline, the sooner we can return to normal activities," Deshotel said.
Deshotel then gave a prayer for those affected by the virus.
As of noon on April 8, the Louisiana Department of Health says there are now has 17,030 confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). LDH reported that 652 people in the state have died of the disease. LDH reported a total of 1,983 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized, and of those, 490 patients require ventilation.
Lafayette has 285 cases and so far 10 residents here have died of COVID-19. As of noon yesterday, 7,310 tests had been given to Lafayette residents.
Read the full breakdown of cases from LDH here.
If you have any questions on the coronavirus, dial 211.
You can watch Thursday's press briefing below.