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Chicot State Park to be utilized as possible overflow area for COVID-19 patients

Guided canoe tours happening Saturday in Chicot State Park
Posted at 8:50 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 21:41:10-04

Chicot State Park in Evangeline Parish will be utilized as an overflow area for possible COVID-19 patients from certain regions of the state.

Liz Hill, Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security for Evangeline Parish, confirmed Tuesday night that the state park is being set up for those who may need to be quarantined due to the virus, but who cannot return to their homes or residential facilities.

Hill said those that will be able to stay at the park will come from Regions 4, 5, and 6, which is the Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Alexandria areas.

Individuals who get sick but can't go back to their own homes or those who don't have anywhere else to go will be able to stay in cabins and trailers that will be brought into the park, according to Senator Heather Cloud.

There, Hill says, patients will be cared for by health care providers.

As of Tuesday, no other sites in Acadiana have been set up as overflow facilities.

Chicot State Park closed its gates to the public Wednesday morning, as officials prepare the campground to possibly house coronivrus patients. Those patients will come from the central Louisiana area and cared for by health providers

Liz Hill, with Evangeline Parish's Office of Emergency Preparedness says the announcement is getting mixed reaction from the public.

"Some are not to happy about people coming here," Hill said. "They're afraid of the virus coming to this parish."

Under Evangeline Parish 911/oep's Facebook post on the announcement, one person commented, "no one will ever rent a cabin again. " Another saying this "makes no sense" .

However, there are some who willing to help saying they'd like to volunteer in hopes of helping others.

"if we could get more volunteers to help out that would be a blessing," Michael Joseph who's a Ville Platte resident said. "We just need to trust God and believe that God is able to handle, nothing to hard he can't handle."

Hill wants residents to understand the circumstances surrounding the area.

This is an overflow, for when there are cases here and the hospitals are full," Hill said. "They are not bringing infected people in from different areas already infected."

She added, "don't let panic set in. State police and national guard will be there to make sure it stays quarantined and the general public will stay out of there."

Saturday, Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego closed and will be used as a possible overflow area for suspected cases of the virus.