The following is an update from Covington Mayor Mark Johnson. Sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails at www.covla.com
The Post Office in Covington serves the 70433 and 70435 zip codes. This covers an area of 150 square miles and a population of about 60,000.
The City of Covington only accounts for about 11,000 of that 60,000. This often leads to confusion among residents that “have a Covington address” but do not actually live in Covington. These residents live in “unincorporated St. Tammany” just as those in Metairie live in unincorporated Jefferson Parish.
Infections in 70433 and 70435 on the Rise
Throughout most of June Covington zip codes averaged 3 – 4 new Covid infections each day (think 100 per month). The hospital occupancy rate declined from a high of 42 to a low of 2. Few of us personally knew anyone infected.
As of the first 15 days of July, we are now experiencing an average of 14 – 15 new cases per day (think 400 per month). The symptoms range from minor (loss of taste) to severe illness to death. St. Tammany Health System’s hospitalizations increased to 22, then to 28. I now know of 11 people infected (including one hospitalized and one dead).
St. Tammany Health System (STHS) continues to be ready and active in this fight. Early innovations and altered operations have served our community well. They continue to be stocked up and prepared for surge capacity, and continue to innovate as needed.
Please wear a mask, wash your hands, keep a social distance of six feet from others, contain coughs and sneezes and stay home when you feel ill. Infection prevention comes down to individual personal responsibility. It is on each of us to bear the responsibility of containing this disease and slowing its spread.
While this escalation is cause for heightened awareness, it is no cause for alarm. The Hospital has expanded bed capacity and arranged isolation units to best prepare for a balance between caring for COVID and non-COVID patients. They have implemented safe waiting spaces in all locations and have plans for more.
Thanks to Fire Chief Gary Blocker and to Melissa Hodgson of STHS for their assistance in compiling this information.
City Hall, Public Works
We have one infection each at City Hall and Public Works. All individuals with direct contact have been tested and are working from home. If positive, they will continue their quarantine. City Hall business should be conducted by phone or e-mail whenever or wherever possible. Public Works is working “on call” for emergencies only till more testing results are available.
Utility Bill Pay: C’mon man, it’s 2020
For those with checking accounts and solid account balances, please consider auto-check withdrawal. Much of the work in our utility billing department is opening thousands of pieces of mail, endorsing thousands of checks, depositing them and then data entry into accounts receivable. Twentieth century processes in the 21st century – very inefficient.
If you opt for auto-draft, always be certain to check your bill against the withdrawal. Regarding “bills,” I hope for us to offer paperless billing soon.
Sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails at www.covla.com
Follow these topics: Local News