Hurricane season: Health officials urging Cenla to get vaccinated before natural disaster strikes

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 3:28 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - President Joe Biden is urging residents in hurricane-prone states to get vaccinated, particularly in states where COVID-19 is surging, like Louisiana.

Here at home, Office of Public Health Director Dr. David Holcombe says this hurricane season may be particularly problematic. That’s because last year, during Hurricanes Laura and Delta, people that were displaced were processed by the Department of Children and Family Services. Through non-congregate sheltering, many of them were sent to larger cities like New Orleans or placed in a long-term hotel.

This year, however, Holcombe says this will be a challenge because our tourism industry is coming back, and many of our hotels now have people staying in them. He worries we may have no choice but to place people together.

“It’s going to be very difficult to place people in hotels and alternative locations, so we may end up having to put people together, which is a pretty scary thought because even though it’s a big building, people tend to group together, and it’s a great potential for transmitting COVID.”

Dr. David Holcombe

Keep in mind, most parishes in our state are less than 70 percent vaccinated.

For our homeless population, this will also pose as a challenge since they have nowhere to go. Right now, there’s an area set up at Bayou Chicot, where those that are homeless and test positive for COVID-19 go to isolate. Holcombe tells KALB, there are more people there now than there was a year ago.

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