Sulphur, LA (July 22, 2020) – Today, West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital and the City of Sulphur are issuing a joint statement to encourage the community to continue utilizing personal, protective measures, including wearing masks, to help protect our community, families and loved ones against the spread of COVID-19.

Although we would have never predicted the unprecedented times we are experiencing, now, more than ever, we must all remain committed to diligently slowing the spread of COVID-19 in every way we can. West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital and the City of Sulphur urge all citizens to wear a mask when in a public setting, avoid large crowds or gatherings, practice appropriate social distancing at all times and wash hands and/or use alcohol-based cleansers often.

“These are small actions, but they are so vital in slowing the spread of COVID-19, protecting our community and keeping our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed,” said Sulphur Mayor Mike Danahay. These small steps of prevention can create a lasting and positive ripple in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital has experienced a sharp increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations and has been on ICU diversion for the last several days. The 18–29 age group continues to represent the largest increase in COVID-19 positive cases in the state. As a result of contact tracing data, this age group is the lead contributor to the recent growth in cases by community spread, unknowingly exposing people in their household and the community who may have comorbidities that then require hospitalizations across our region and the state.

“With the rise of COVID-19 positive cases among the 18-29 age group, many of whom are asymptomatic, we’re experiencing an increase in patients with exposure, as well as staff, during this recent surge than at any other time since March,” said Janie Fruge’, CEO at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.  Healthcare professionals across our region, in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health, CDC, and the local Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, implore citizens to actively support mask-wearing, hand hygiene, social distancing, and avoiding large crowds to decrease the spread of COVID-19, which will decrease the number of people requiring hospitalization. “This is not about politics. This is a true public health emergency and everyone must do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19,” says Fruge’.

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital and the City of Sulphur encourage members of our community to exercise compassion and follow these best practices to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our area:

Wear a face covering – The face covering is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you are asymptomatic. Wear a face mask in a public setting, especially when you are unable to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

Practice social distancing – Maintain a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others. Limiting face-to-face contact with others is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Wash your hands – This is one of the most important lines of defense against COVID-19. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

Avoid large crowds or gatherings - The more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.

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