ICYMI: Closures extended, well wishes, elections, text system alerts, National Guards deployed

CLOSURES CONTINUE: Gov. John Bel Edwards extended his stay-at-home order until April 30, as Louisiana works to slow the spread of COVID-19, which extends the length of time that schools and some businesses are closed and continues limits on the size of gatherings. On ThursdayMayor-President Sharon Weston Broome extended the closure of all City-Parish buildings Friday, including City Hall and all community centers, through Thursday, April 30, 2020. City-Parish buildings will remain closed to the public and will be restricted to essential personnel. Any residents with questions or concerns can call 225-389-3000 or visit http://www.brla.gov.

WELL WISHES: Baton Rouge General Hospital is collecting get well soon cards for patients in need of a smile. Each card will be handed out daily to patients in the ICU. There is no need to address the cards to specific patients. Baton Rouge General also asks people not to use glue or glitter.

STATE AND CITY COVID UPDATES: Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a new text alert system that will provide timely COVID-19 updates and other critical guidance directly from the governor’s office to Louisiana residents who opt-in to the new system by texting ‘LACOVID’ to 67283. Residents will receive updates and instructions to sign up for Smart911, a free service that allows individuals and families to provide key info to first responders.  Through the Smart911 app or smart911.com, residents can create a Safety Profile that contains critical information including pre-existing conditions and quarantine status.

Likewise, East Baton Rouge City Parish announced a text messaging service for residents to opt-in and receive updates related to the coronavirus pandemic. Text REDSTICKREADY to 225-243-9991.

ELECTIONS: The Louisiana Democratic Party announced a deadline extension to two key aspects of the Delegate Selection Plan for the 2020 Democratic National Convention. This change extends the deadline to submit a delegate qualifying form by two weeks to April 20 and moves the deadline to request ballots for the delegate vote by mail election to April 22.

NATIONAL GUARD: U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) announced that the federal government is completely funding the Louisiana National Guard’s efforts to combat coronavirus. About 1,200 guardsmen are assisting with disaster response across Louisiana. They address different needs such as food preparation, assisting with testing, distributing supplies and preparing emergency shelters.

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