JEFFERSON PARISH (WGNO)— With cases in Jefferson Parish surging and having the highest amount of cases since the pandemic began, leaders held at press conference today to announce that they will be reopening the Alario Center as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site.
“We are averaging about 500 cases per day and to give perspective in our Parish, when we’re low our numbers are between 30 to 60 cases per day,” Cynthia Lee-Sheng, Jefferson Parish President said.
With COVID cases surging and a positivity rate of 17 percent, Jefferson Parish leaders decided to reopen a drive-thru covid testing and walk up vaccination site at the Alario Center to meet the demand.
“Anything our resources can do to alleviate some pressure off the hospital systems we are going to do just that,” she said.
Doctors say testing along with vaccines are key to getting the community back on track especially with hospitalizations in our state being at an all-time high causing major strain. Hospital beds are full primarily with unvaccinated folks.
“If you are not vaccinated then you are at risk and it has been said by others that everyone that is unvaccinated at this point in time will either take a vaccine or will acquire COVID-19,” Dr. Mark Kline at Children’s Hospital New Orleans said.
Right now they are seeing more kids getting COVID-19. Locally only 13 percent of kids 12-17 years old are vaccinated.
“The hospitalizations today for kids with COVID-19 are four times greater today than they were 30 days ago,” Dr. Kline said.
But vaccines alone won’t solve the pandemic problem.
“We must wear masks. I don’t know why this little thing is a big deal to people, it is not,” Cynthia Lee-Sheng said.
Although there’s no sign of the virus slowing down they feel making a site like the Alario Center more accessible to all who need it will help mitigate their efforts.