Shreveport doctor weighs in on COVID-19 community spread

Shreveport doctor weighs in on COVID-19 community spread
Health experts say wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing when you can in crowded public areas can help reduce the spread of coronavirus. (Source: CDC)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - On Friday, June 26, Governor Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health announced 1,300 additional reported COVID-19 cases in the state; 92% from community spread.

Health experts say wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing when you can in crowded public areas can help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

While many areas of the U.S. are making it mandatory to wear a face mask in public, at a press conference this week Governor Edwards says while he encourages Louisianans to wear face masks, he will not make it mandatory at this time.

Dr. Joseph Bocchnni with Willis-Knighton says health professionals are seeing the same trend here in Northwest Louisiana.

“Based on the tests that are coming back positive in the Willis-Knighton system, it certainly looks like there is community spread. As you go around Shreveport you can see a significant number of people who are not wearing masks when they should be and in many cases, not socially distancing as recommended.”
Dr. Joseph Bocchnni

He says and many spreading COVID-19 are either asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic and that wearing a mask would significantly decrease the chances of spreading the virus.

“It is really important that we use masks to prevent the spread of this infection, we should be keeping the social distancing recommendations whenever possible.” Dr. Bocchini said. “Third, if we have any respiratory symptoms or other symptoms related to COVID-19 we should be staying at home.”

Dr. Bocchini says the next few weeks will be a really critical time for Louisiana.

“I think this is a really important reminder that the virus is still here and if we do not follow the recommendations from our local health authorities and the Governor we run the risk of being right back where we started,” Dr. Bocchini said. “So it’s really important now to double down, do what’s right to reduce the spread of the virus. Otherwise, we are going to see a continuation of the first wave, with increases numbers of cases and the potential to overwhelm our hospitals. We will not only see more cases, but potentially more deaths from this virus as well.”

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