Police jury changes COVID protocol to reflect new CDC guidelines

File photo

By William Midkiff

On the evening of Feb. 8, the Lincoln Parish Police Jury had its monthly meeting, during which several reports were given, a few votes were taken, and the Police Jury adopted new COVID-19 protocols for their employees based on the new CDC guidelines.

The CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation were updated on Jan. 27. The Lincoln Parish Police Jury Protocol has been updated to reflect this change, for the first time since July of 2020.

The first of the two main changes is the revocation of the daily screening checklist. Under the new protocol, police jury employees will now self-monitor for symptoms, reporting any to their supervisor. Employees are also highly encouraged to wear a mask and practice social distancing when possible.

The second of the two main changes is the updated quarantine time for positive test results. Police jury employees will now have to stay home and isolate for five full days if they do not have symptoms, or if their symptoms are mild. Employees will have to stay home and isolate for ten full days if they are severely ill.

For those with mild or no symptoms, isolation can only end when they have been fever-free for 24 hours. For those with severe symptoms, isolation can only end after they have consulted their doctor and been given permission.

This new protocol has only been officially passed for Lincoln Parish Police Jury employees. However, the changes were based on the CDC guidelines, which are recommended for all individuals.

The Department of Homeland Security also gave a report detailing the administration of home test kits to Lincoln Parish. The first allocation of test kits was distributed throughout the parish, but the second allocation was distributed specifically to government employees.

Kip Franklin, director of Lincoln Parish Homeland Security, explained the reasoning behind the change in distribution.

“I decided to distribute those in a different manner and make sure that all of our government employees,” Franklin said. “City, parish, public works — all these people are able to get a kit to have in case. Because if our services go down, we’re in a lot of big trouble.”

Other highlights from the meeting include the Health and Welfare Committee voting to approve $120,000 for the Ruston ambulance service for 2022, as well as the granting of an award to James Ramsaur, director of Lincoln Parish Park.

On behalf of Lincoln Parish Park, Ramsaur received the Louisiana Travel Association 2022 Louey Award for Campground/RV Park of the Year.

“I’ve been believing that we are one of the best parks, not only in Louisiana, but in the country, for a long time, but I’m biased,” Ramsaur said. “So it’s good validation for the park to receive this award that shows that we really do have something special there.”

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