LOGO
  • ,,

    Tangipahoa receives FEMA grant for Hammond “safe room”

    Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller announced today that FEMA will fund construction of an emergency “safe room” building to house essential workers during disaster conditions.

    Miller said Tangipahoa has been awarded a $688K FEMA grant to build the 2,100+ square foot “safe room” on the parish’s West Pleasant Ridge Road campus in Hammond.

    The shelter will meet FEMA construction standards to withstand strong hurricane force and tornado winds. In the event of a severe weather event, the facility would house up to 96 emergency responders and essential personnel who would be on-duty during the storm.

    Holly and Smith Architects are completing the construction plans, and once approved by State Fire Marshal, the project will be put out for public bid. Miller said the goal is to have the new structure open and completed no later than the end of 2020 or early calendar year 2021.

    “This is an essential project in our parish’s emergency response plan, and we are so grateful that FEMA has awarded this grant to help us meet this need in our community,” Miller said.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    Projections show Louisiana could be grappling with COVID-19 until the end of the year

    Regional planning projections released by the Louisiana Department of Health show that while aggressive mitigation measures appear to be effectively flattening the COVID-19 curve, Louisiana could be grappling with the virus at least until the end of the year. 

    “Forecasting what is going to happen with COVID-19 in the state of Louisiana is challenging and nearly impossible,” said interim secretary of the Department of Health Stephen Russo. “Just as it is impossible to forecast the exact weather and temperature on a given day.”

    “While these planning projections show our healthcare system may not be overwhelmed, they also show that we are not out of the woods,” said Alex Billioux, assistant secretary of the Office of Public Health . “It’s important that we continue to do our part to protect ourselves and our families.”

    “These planning projections are good news and it’s good news we all need to hear right now. It means we are moving in the right direction but we must stay on course,” said Russo. “There is significant concern that if we make sudden changes or stop social distancing that we will see another large spike and strain on our health care resources.”

    Here is a link to the full set of regional projections, last updated on April 16, 2020: http://ldh.la.gov/COVID-19Modeling
    Read more »
  • ,,,

    Congressional Black Caucus, civil rights organizations challenge CDC to provide reports on rate of infections

    With evidence growing that shows African Americans disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus, just nine states and the District of Columbia have released a racial breakdown of those diagnosed with the disease.

    Concerned health experts, members of the U.S. Congress, and civil rights organizations have ramped up their call for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to provide a detailed report.

    “We know that there’s a disproportionate rate of infections and death nationwide,” Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.) stated in a conference call with the Black Press of America represented by the National Newspaper Publishers Association on Tuesday, April 7.

    “It’s happening in all of our [African American] communities nationwide. We feel that it’s an emergency that needs to be addressed right away, and, importantly, we need data, and the CDC is not compiling data,” Bass added.

    Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, agreed that statistics along racial lines are vital. “The data already released shows troubling trends for African Americans that must be addressed to ensure public health,” Kelly said.

    African Americans make up about 18 percent of the population in Michigan but account for approximately 40 percent of coronavirus-related deaths, according to Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-Michigan).

    “I am speaking as just one part of the major piece of concern, and that’s the alarming way in how this pandemic is having an impact on our Black community,” Lawrence said.

    “We are the number one target for this disease. We have pre-existing conditions, and yet we’re told to go home when we visit the emergency room. We know that there must be some form of regulation in place for testing and getting testing sites and equipment into the community,” Lawrence said.

    The Louisiana Department of Health revealed that 70 percent of coronavirus deaths in the state are African American, despite Black people making up just 32 percent of the population. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, African Americans reportedly accounted for nearly half of coronavirus cases and more than 80 percent of deaths related to the disease.

    “I have seen in my waiting room mostly Black and Brown patients who are essential workers and service workers who can’t afford to stay home,” Uche Blackstone, the CEO of Advancing Health Equity, told The Hill.

    “These are the ones that I see presenting to the clinic with COVID-19 symptoms,” Blackstone said.

    Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) led a group from congress recently in demanding that the federal government release data about racial disparities in America’s response to the pandemic. Pressley said she and her colleagues made clear in the letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that the government is failing to collect and publicly report on the racial and ethnic demographic information for coronavirus tests and patients.

    “Without demographic data, policymakers and researchers will have no way to identify and address ongoing disparities and health inequities that risk accelerating the impact of the novel coronavirus and the respiratory disease it causes,” the letter stated.

    “Although COVID-19 does not discriminate along racial or ethnic lines, existing racial disparities and inequities in health outcomes and health care access may mean that the nation’s response to preventing and mitigating its harms will not be felt equally in every community.”

    Dr. Ebony Hilton and Dr. Taison Bell, of the Virginia Medical School, have publicly demanded the release of racial data surrounding the virus.

    “Release the data,” said Hilton, who continuously posts that message on social media sites.

    “We see in states that aren’t reporting on racial demographics that there’s been a surge in patients dying from respiratory distress and respiratory failure,” Bell said.

    The NNPA and its Coronavirus Task Force was the first media-related entity in the U.S. to declare a “State of Emergency for Black America” as the fatalities among Black Americans continue to rise across the nation. Using social media to increase public awareness about COVID-19, the NNPA is encouraging the use of the following hashtags: #SaveBlackLives and #NNPACoronavirusTaskForce.

    By Stacy M. Brown
    NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
    @StacyBrownMedia

    Read more »
  • With 565 activated, La. National Guard assistance continues to grow, now at food banks

    The Louisiana National Guard, as directed by Governor John Bel Edwards, has activated more than 565 Soldiers and Airmen so far, not to include full-time Guardsmen, to assist with the COVID-19 response, March 24. The number of Guardsmen activated and equipment utilized is anticipated to increase until the situation is stabilized.

    One of the most recent missions of the LANG is to assist local food banks in preparing food boxes in Baton Rouge, Orleans and Jefferson Parish, Grant Parish, and central Louisiana.

    “With a limited number of volunteers coming to our food bank to help, the Louisiana National Guard soldiers have been a tremendous resource and significant force multiplier to assist us in the preparation of boxes for distribution to support our normal operations, as well as the increased demand from Covid-19,” said Michael G. Manning, president and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.La. Guard assists New Orleans drive-through testing sites

    The Louisiana National Guard has mobilized Guardsmen throughout the state to support current operations, including medical support, engineering assessment support, shelter security, traffic control point and drive-through testing site support, assistance at food banks, and to provide liaison officer teams to Parish Emergency Operations Centers.

    In order to assist civil authorities, the LANG is ensuring the health and safety of its Soldiers and Airmen. The LANG is actively taking steps to support health protection in order to maintain mission readiness, such as: limiting non mission-specific travel, educating and enforcing strict CDC-recommended hygiene measures, and monitoring Guardsmen’s temperature readings and overall health on a daily basis.

    Louisiana Army National Guard Soldiers with the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team help package and distribute food to the local community at the Food Bank of Central Louisiana in Alexandria, La., March 24, 2020. Soldiers are assisting the food bank to ensure the supply of food for the needy is maintained and distributed during the increased demand due to the COVID-19 crisis. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Thea James)

    Read more »
  • ,

    EBR Mayor appeals to White House for COVID-19 assistance

    EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome sent a letter Tuesday, March 24, to the White House requesting the federal government support East Baton Rouge Parish during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Broome appealed to the Trump Administration to express the resources needed in the City-Parish.

    “Local government budgets were not designed for a pandemic like this. We need the full weight of every federal department to support us through this crisis,” said Broome. “In Louisiana, our State is accustomed to responding to disasters of multiple types and magnitudes; however, this global pandemic has overwhelmed even the most meticulous and proactive planning we have implemented.”

    The letter requests the Trump Administration invoke the Defense Protection Act, which would increase the domestic production of medical supplies and equipment. It also requests the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocate additional Emergency Solutions Grant funding to state and local governments.

    Read more »
  • Congressman Richmond urges suspension of halfway houses amid coronavirus spreading

    Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) issued the following statement calling for the urgent release of everyone living and working in halfway houses across the country due to the spread of coronavirus:

    “Now more than ever, the protection of our most vulnerable citizens is of paramount importance,” said Rep. Richmond. “The outbreak and continued growth of the coronavirus will inevitably do the most damage to people and communities most at risk. That is why I am calling on the Bureau of Prisons and probation officers to release all residents with appropriate residences to home confinement from halfway houses across the country. This will allow for appropriate social distancing measures within the halfway houses and protect staff as well.

    It is unconscionable to keep these 8,000 men and women living and working closely together during this dire public health crisis.
    Halfway houses most closely resemble overcrowded college dormitories where the practice of social distancing is nearly impossible. Many people who live in these facilities are elderly and have pre-existing health conditions that increase their risk of falling ill if infected. If one resident contracts coronavirus, the implications for the rest of the house could be catastrophic. As all levels of government rush to implement social distancing policies, we cannot leave behind those in halfway houses who are working hard to reintegrate into society.”
    Read more »
  • ,

    New Orleans residents respond to the spread of the coronavirus

    DATA NEWS WEEKLY — Over the span of January to March, in response to the worldwide spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), U.S. citizens say they are now increasing their awareness about the virus and finding ways to prevent its spreading. World health officials place the total number of infected persons at more than 100,000 people with more than 3,802 deaths. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported around 400 cases in 33 states, with 21 deaths. The states with the most cases reported are Washington State, New York, and California. As of the first week of March, no known cases have been reported in Louisiana, however, in neighboring Texas, there have been eight reported cases of positive testing.

    (NOTE: At the time of this posting, March 20, Louisiana officials reported 14 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Louisiana. There are more than 380 known cases across the state.)

    “The coronavirus is honestly scary. There is no telling how and when the virus can be spread to our city,” said Christina Williams, an Uptown, New Orleans resident and youth mentor. “Nor is there a way to know what has caused this virus,” Williams said, adding that: “The fact that this virus could come, and people not know about it is nerve-wrecking.”

    Workers in the city said that many workplaces have restricted travel for employees, and schools have sent notifications to parents of the possible threat that the virus poses, and to encourage enhanced hygiene.

    “We just finished Mardi Gras season with hundreds of thousands of people visiting our city. I pray that no one has brought the virus here,” said Tyler Townsend, a senior biology major at Xavier University of Louisiana, who is a native of Los Angeles, Calif. “It’s like we were an open target for the coronavirus,” Townsend said, given the city’s many festivals and events that attract tourists from all over the world. “I am ready for the coronavirus, but it is no secret that I am still nervous about it as well,” he added.

    The increase in concern about the spread of the virus to each state has led to a shortage of face masks, hand sanitizers and household cleaning products at major retail outlets in the city, residents noted.

    “The coronavirus is real and spreading, but I don’t really know what more there is for me to do except playing my part by washing my hands and being mindful of my daily activity in terms of hygiene,” said Shania Campbell, a Dillard University student. “People are afraid of this virus, but in reality, there are so many other dangers at hand. Everything needs awareness, not just this,” Campbell said.

    While some residents said they are taking new precautions, others said they are used to preparedness and disruptions to the routine that come with other hazards the city faces each year.

    “Being the normally hygienically aware individual that I always am, any other efforts are speculative at best,” said Percy Marchand, a Mid-City resident and business owner. “Also, I am stocked up on goods just in case, but again, living in New Orleans, we are always stocked up and prepared for a disaster,” Marchand said.

    Residents said they felt some attention has been taken away from yearly viruses such as the flu, which is the more prominent virus of the two. For Louisiana, while there have not been any reported cases of the coronavirus, the virus is still being spread in the midst of influenza season, which runs from October to April. Last year, state officials reported that there were 14,000 hospitalizations and around 1,400 deaths from the flu.

    “Honestly, I’m not really worried about the virus. To me, it’s just another running case of something to be worried about,” said Ernest Lumpkins, an Uptown New Orleans resident. “Every year, it’s something different. Before it was the Swine Flu (H1N1), now it’s this. This doesn’t bother me at all,” said Lumpkins.

    Still residents said they will continue to take steps to protect themselves and their families.

    “All measures of safety are appreciated. This is a serious time and nothing to play with,” said Marianne Alexis, a New Orleans East resident. “You can never be too safe. I take precautions every day by washing my hands and being aware of my surroundings,” Alexis said.

    By Jordan Deloch
    Data News Weekly Contributor

    This article originally appeared in New Orleans Data News Weekly

  • Read more »
  • ,

    Baton Rouge sees its first positive Coronavirus case

    EAst Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the first COVID-19 positive case, commonly referred to as coronavirus, in East Baton Rouge Parish Tuesday, March 17. Over the past few weeks,Broome has been coordinating with local, state and federal officials and healthcare providers.

    “City-Parish and our COVID-19 healthcare partners are ready for this,” said Broome. “I want every member of the public to understand the critical role they play at this point – that is to follow the guidance we have been communicating and reiterating. It is vital that residents adhere to practicing social distancing and self-isolation if you have symptoms.”

    Mayor Broome’s office will continue coordinating the response for the community.

    Read more »
  • Free meals and food service for students in La.

    Free food programs are popping up throughout the state after the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to several major school systems. Here are local and state resources (updated frequently):

    Schools in 61 of 64 parishes are serving as feeding sites to provide meals to children during school closures. This list is subject to change as resources and information become more available. US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced proactive flexibilities to allow meal service during school closures to minimize potential exposure to the coronavirus. During an unexpected school closure, schools can leverage their participation in one of USDA’s meal programs to provide meals at no cost to students. Under normal circumstances, those meals must be served in a group setting. However, in a public health emergency, the law allows USDA the authority to waive the group setting meal requirement, which is vital during a social distancing situation. Read: Louisiana Believes


    Tues. March 17. In response to COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Regina Barrow along with several colleagues are partnering with McDonald’s and EBR School System to provide free lunch meals to students in the Glen Oaks and Scotlandville communities. Meals will be available at noon tomorrow, March 17 at Glen Oaks High School, 6650 Cedar Glen Dr and Scotlandville PreEngineering Middle Magnet School, 9147 Elm Grove Drive. For more info call 225-359-9400. Barrow thanks  McDonald’s, EBR School System, Sen. Cleo Fields, Reps. Barbara W Carpenter, C. Denise Marcelle, Edmond Jordan, Ted James, Larry Selders and Eugene Rico Williams.


    Starting Wed., March 18. The EBRPSS’s Child Nutrition Department will be serving free, grab-n-go breakfast and lunch at seven school sites beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Grab-N-Go breakfast and lunch will be served at:

    Grab-N-Go breakfast and lunch will be served at the following schools:

    1. Northeast Elementary
    2. Progress Elementary
    3. Woodlawn Elementary
    4. Wildwood Elementary
    5. Capitol Middle
    6. McKinley Middle
    7. Park Forest Middle

    While supplies last, families will be able to pick up pre-packaged breakfast and lunches for children 18 years of age and younger, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekdays during the mandated school closure period (March 16, 2020 – April 13, 2020). At least one child must be present in order to receive school meals. ONLINE: ebrschools.org/child-nutrition.


    Read more »
  • ,

    Clever software updated to aid student at-home learning

    K-12 school students and others using the school-based Clever software will find a new section of applications to help students continue studies while schools are closed. Under the Core Instructional Resources for COVID-19 section within the student’s individual Clever account, students and parents will find grade-level and curriculum-specific applications, lessons, and videos to continue academic work. Teachers have access to modify and enhance their class assignments for students to complete. Because teachers and school systems are adjusting to online teaching modules, assignments may not be posted. Students can begin self-guided work within Clever under the K-12 Learning at Home Resources application which has daily exercises. Students login at www.clever.com with their school-assigned account they received at the beginning of the year. The apps are setup to begin where teachers left off at closure. More than 32 million public school students nationwide are out of school due to public health concerns around the spread of the coronavirus.

    #Community-La @thedrumnews

    Read more »
  • ,,

    Misconceptions Blacks have about Coronavirus

    BlackNews.com reports the top 11 most common misconceptions that many in the Black community have:

    #1 – Black People Can’t Get It: This is simply not true. To date, at least three African American NBA players have contracted the virus. In addition, several African nations including Rwanda, Nigeria, and Kenya have all reported individuals who have tested positive for the viral. Therefore, Black people are not immune to the virus.

    #2 – Vodka Kills the Virus: Most vodka brands are only 40 percent alcohol, and that is not high enough to effectively kill microbes. The CDC recommends using handsaniter that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

    #3 - You Need Health Insurance to Be Tested: Definitely not true. The U.S. government has mandated free testing to all individuals who have the symptoms of Coronavirus. All hospitals are required to comply, but not all hospitals may have enough test kits. In addition, there may be a long waiting line to get tested.

    #3 – You Should Call 911 If You Have the Symptoms: Unless you are suffering from an immediate life-threatening emergency, you should not call 911. You should, however, call your doctor and/or visit your local hospital’s emergency room if you are not feeling well. Those who have questions or confusion about the virus can also visit CoronaVirusHelpline.org or call the toll-free Coronavirus Helpline at (888) 581-5029 for more information.

    #4 – The Flu is More Dangerous: This also is not true. Although it is true that last year more than 60,000 people died from the flu. The Coronavirus has been proven to be more contagious, more deadly, and also more misunderstand. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), less than 1% of people who typically contract the flu die from it, but so far, about 3.4% of those who have contracted Coronavirus have died.

    #6 – You Must Have Multiple Symptoms: This also is not correct. Many individuals who have tested positive for the Coronavirus have only been found to have just one of the major symptoms. According to the Washington State Dept of Health, those symptoms are shortness of breath, cough OR fever.

    #7 – Only Elderly People Die From It: While it is true that people age 60 and over are more likely to contract and die from the virus, younger people must also exercise plenty of caution. The truth is that many patients that are age 22-59 are also being affected. South Korea reported 2,718 cases among patients under the age of 30.

    #8 – All Chinese People Have the Coronavirus: Again, not true. It is true that the virus originated in China, but this does not mean that all Chinese people are infected nor does it justify any type of racial discrimination against people from China or Chinese-owned businesses. Remember that many Chinese Americans have never even been to China.

    #9 – There is a Cure: Currently, there is no cure or medical treatment available for those who contract the virus. Depending on the location, if a person tests positive for the virus, he or she will be quarantined and/or sent home and encouraged to self-quarantine. Drinking plenty of water, eating healthy foods with high nutrients, and taking immune-building vitamins are encouraged.

    #10 – You Should Stock Up on Water and Toilet Tissue: No government agency has ever made this suggestion. This is a panic reaction from the general population. The truth is that by being inside a grocery store or big box retailer trying to hoard items like this, you are only increasing the chances of being exposed to someone who could be infected and may not even know it.

    #11 – All Travel Has Been Banned: As of March 16, 2020, no type of domestic travel has been restricted. However, the U.S. government has initiated several international travel bans to many countries in Asia and Europe. Most of these travel bans, however, do not affect American citizens but affect non-U.S. citizens.

    Those with more questions about the virus are encouraged to visit black boy w women and medicineCoronaVirusHelpline.org or call the toll-free Coronavirus Helpline at (888) 581-5029 for more information.

    Read more »
  • Edwards holds meeting on coronavirus, task force

    Gov. John Bel Edwards presided over Louisiana’s first Unified Command Group meeting about the state’s response to the coronavirus(COVID-19) on Monday and announced the creation of a COVID-19 Task Force of key state and federal officials. 

    Currently, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Louisiana.

    The Governor also announced that the Louisiana Office of Public Health’s State Laboratory is now able to test for the virus in state, using the testing guidelines provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The CDC does expect community spread of coronavirus in some parts of the United States. There are more than 60 cases confirmed elsewhere in the country and two people in America have died. While the United States is not seeing the same level of spread as other countries, Louisiana has been preparing since the COVID-19 outbreak in mainland China.

    “While we currently do not have any confirmed cases of coronavirus in Louisiana, we do anticipate that we will in the future. That’s why Louisiana’s Department of Health and other agencies have been planning for several weeks on how the state will respond to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the health of the public,” Edwards said. “As a state, Louisiana has been planning for pandemics for 15 years, and we will use this experience to guide how we react and respond to the coronavirus, should it impact our state. For now, people should take commonsense steps to protect themselves from respiratory illness, including washing their hands, covering their mouths when they cough and avoiding going out in public when they are sick.”

    • Gov. Edwards will address coronavirus as part of his remarks at the Baton Rouge Press Club around noon today. His remarks will be streamed at Facebook.com/LouisianaGov.

    Members of the COVID-19 Task Force include the Louisiana Department of Health and the Office of Public Health, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Division of Administration, the Department of Education, the Louisiana National Guard, the Department of Children and Family Services, the Louisiana Department of Justice, the United States Coast Guard, 211, Louisiana State Police and other agencies as deemed appropriate.

    The COVID-19 Task Force will lead Louisiana’s planning for different scenarios relating to the spread of coronavirus. It will offer guidance not only to the Governor and the Unified Command Group, but also to state agencies, local governments, businesses and organizations.

    As an initial step, the COVID-19 Task Force is recommending that all state agencies review and update their Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) that were developed statewide in 2012 under GOHSEP direction to take coronavirus into account.

    For updates on the state’s response to the coronavirus situation, visit LDH.louisiana.gov/Coronavirus.

    Read more »
  • Back to Top
    Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com