NewsLafayette Parish


Stefanski: It's time to take aggressive action to slow the spread of COVID-19

Posted at 8:15 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 21:15:57-04

Acadiana continues to record a substantial number of new COVID-19 cases daily.

Doctor Tina Stefanski with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says it's a challenge to drive the number of cases down not only in Region 4, but across the state.

Stefanski says it is people's irresponsible actions that is putting a strain on out healthcare system. She says unfortunately, it is taking longer for young, healthy people to recover from the virus.

At the rate we're going in Region 4, Stefanski believes our hospital systems will not be able to sustain hospitalizations. Stefanski says it is time to take aggressive action in Louisiana to slow the spread and she says the message is simple.

"Wear a mask. If you can't wear a mask or don't want to wear one or don't believe in wearing a mask, stay home. Frankly, that's where we are with this situation. We are not powerless against this virus," Stefanski said. "There is a clear path forward with improving driving down the level of transmission. We have the tools in place. Our Governor is leading us down the right path."

Mayor-President Josh Guillory says politics is playing a role in how people respond to COVID-19.

Guillory says politics playing a part in COVID-19 is regrettable during a public health emergency.

He says he has worked to comply with the President's Coronavirus task force and the orders of the Governor. During Thursday's news conference, Guillory went through a list of things he's done to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

We asked if he stands with the Vice-President who said on Tuesday that he supports Governor Edwards and what Louisiana is doing to slow the spread of COVID-19, including the mandatory mask mandate or does he stand with the Attorney General who has questioned the legality of the mask mandate.

Guillory said, "I stand with the Attorney General, I stand with the Governor and the Vice-President on fighting this fight. I stand with my earlier comments and the comments with our Governor a few weeks ago. Enforcing a mask mandate is not practical. You don't need the government to tell you this. My job is to bring the experts to you. I'm not a medical doctor and I don't pretend to be."

Stefanski says at this time, she believes it would be difficult to put in place further regulations, saying it is important to save lives, but we also need to protect our economy.

She maintains it is important to continue listening to leaders and health care professionals.

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