Pandemic numbers continue to rise

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Local alderman tests positive

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  • The Farmerville Police Department is conducting business as close to normal as possible. If you need the FPD, continue to call and your issues will be handled. Gazette file photo
    The Farmerville Police Department is conducting business as close to normal as possible. If you need the FPD, continue to call and your issues will be handled. Gazette file photo
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Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for Union Parish Director Greg Gossler Tuesday confirmed 26 positive cases of COVID-19 in Union Parish.

Gossler also confirmed that as of noon Monday, there have been two deaths related to the pandemic as well.

One of those who has tested positive is Town of Farmerville Alderman Thomas Nation (District B). Nation said Tuesday that when he got off work Thursday he felt bad.

“I took my temperature that evening and it was 102.3,” Nation said. “I went to the clinic and was tested Friday. I got a call Sunday telling me I had tested positive.”

Nation has been quarantined at home with his wife since Friday. “My body aches and I’ve had a fever off and on. This ain’t no joke. This is for real,” Nation said, adding “Stay home and let’s get rid of this thing.” Nation said he has no idea how he came in contact with the virus.

Numbers across Louisiana continue to rise.

“We have 14,867 cases and 512 deaths related to the virus,” Gossler said. “It appears that we may be approaching the flattening of the curve. But, because numbers are typically slow coming in from the weekend, I’m concerned we may see a spike in numbers today.”

Farmerville Police Chief “ B i m ” Coulberston is working to make sure his officers are safe and have the equipment necessary to continue their responsibilities.

With Covid-19 affecting the lives and work of the people of Union Parish, as well as the entire state and nation, Coulberston said the Town of Farmerville officers are still on the job. The Chief said two of his dispatchers who have been quarantined would be back on the job this week. They did not test positive, but had been in contact with someone who had.

“We are giving them gloves, hand sanitizer, masks and, when necessary, shields and gowns,” the Chief said Monday of his patrol officers. “We’re trying to handle as many calls as we can over the phone. We are trying to limit contact as much as possible, as everyone should be.”

Gossler said Tuesday that some of the most widely used devices people come in contact with on a daily basis are fuel pumps and ATMs. He urged caution when using these, stressing the importance of hand cleaning afterward.

There are more than 900 Louisiana National Guardsmen on d u t y right now, working to get supplies and equipment where they are needed, according to Gossler.

One thing he worries about is people getting a false sense of security, with some of the language used by officials, it’s easy to become confused.

“I don’t want anyone getting a false sense of security,” he said. “With the governor saying we are reaching the ‘flattening of the curve’, and the Surgeon General (Vice Admiral Dr. Jerome Adams) saying we could be looking at a critical point right now, it’s easy to not be sure of what to do.”

The main point Gossler wants to drive home to everyone is this: “Stay home, wear a mask and practice social distancing. Let’s listen to our healthcare officials and help move past this.”

Consider donating hand sanitizer, wipes, gloves, masks etc. to your local officers and hospital personnel serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.