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25 COVID-19 Related Deaths in St. Mary Parish, Including 13 at Franklin Nursing Home, 54 Total Residents Test Positive

Statement from St. Mary Parish Coroner Dr. Eric Melancon:

The State of Louisiana has reached nearly 30,000 cases of COVID 19 and almost 2,000 deaths. In St. Mary Parish we have had 209 reported positives and 25 COVID-related deaths.

Efforts to flatten the curve continue with coordinated efforts by Parish President, David Naquin, Director of Homeland Security, David Naquin, and Coroner, Dr. Eric Melancon. On May 3,2020, Dr. Melancon and Investigator Amiee Guidroz swabbed the 49 remaining untested residents at Legacy of Franklin. To date, Legacy has had 67 residents who were tested with 54 positive for COVID 19 resulting in 13 COVID-related deaths.


Patterson Healthcare Center launched an investigation into the potential situation that led to a resident testing positive for COVID-19 on 4/26/20 at Ochsner St. Mary ER. That resident had been admitted to Patterson Healthcare 29 days prior from the New Orleans area just as the lockdown began. No s/s of COVID-19 were present so no testing was completed. However, the facility followed the CDC recommendation of 14 days of quarantine and isolation for the resident. After isolation the resident was placed in a semi-private room. The presumed positive resident is being retested at Ochsner St. Mary to confirm the results since the first test was a rapid 45 minute test. The roommate has been tested and received a negative result but remains on 14 day quarantine and isolation as a precaution. The facility has also begun conducting COVID-19 testing in 30% of its 97 residents and 30% of its 102 employees. Some with close proximity in location, direct contact, shared links and no contact. To date 16 residents have been tested, 8 negative results received, 8 pending results with 13 left to test. 18 staff members have been tested, 6 negative results received with 12 pending results and 12 left to test. The ill employee that was mentioned in the previous article reported their body aches to a supervisor via phone from home and was instructed to seek medical treatment. At which time that employee tested positive for COVID-19. PHC’s own investigation lead them to believe that the positive employee had no recent contact with the positive resident and the two do not appear related. The LDH Region 3 director, Dr Riggins was impressed by the swift and appropriate handling of the situation.


On May 4, 2020, Homeland Security Director along with the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office tested 102 First Responders and Law Enforcement personnel as per the CDC’s and Louisiana Department of Health’s Priority 3 guidelines. Testing of the general public will begin soon at varied locations for those interested. We ask that St. Mary Parish residents continue to be steadfast in their social distancing and hand washing regimen until Governor Edwards gives the all clear. We would ask that if you must get out in public, please wear a mask to protect yourself and others from the spread of this deadly virus.

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