As of Thursday, Jan. 7, the Louisiana Department of Health reported 338,054 cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began, an increase of 4,526 since Wednesday.
New Orleans has reported 22,484 cases of the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, an increase of 306 since Wednesday. The city’s seven-day positivity rate was 10.4 percent as of Wednesday.
At least 7,319 people statewide have died, including at least 642 in New Orleans. The state reports that at least 4,575,038 tests have been performed to date at the state lab and private labs.
The state reported 2,033 hospitalizations among people who have tested positive on Wednesday. Of those, 219 were on ventilators.
In the New Orleans area, 23 percent of ventilators, 79 percent of ICU beds and 73 percent of overall hospital beds were reported as being in use on Thursday.
The Louisiana Department of Health’s coronavirus page includes a map showing where infections are being reported. It is updated daily.
- Thousands of NOLA Public Schools students ‘chronically absent’ amid pandemic
- New Orleans council member asks state to overturn local assessor’s commercial tax cuts
- Vaccinations begin for school nurses; New Crocker operator could be named Friday
- NOLA Public Schools reevaluating reopening metrics after schools close amid city spike in COVID-19 cases
- NOLA Public Schools will roll out rapid testing; school nurses to receive vaccinations
See The Lens’ full coverage. The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate’s coronavirus coverage is available here. Listen to WWNO’s livestream. Latest news from Gambit is here. Follow breaking updates with live video at WWL-TV, WDSU, Fox 8 and WGNO.
Statewide restrictions in place (Updated Monday, Nov. 30)
Following a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Nov. 25 moved the state from phase three of reopening back to phase two.
- Restaurants, non-essential retail businesses, gyms, salons, movie theaters and many other businesses are now restricted to 50 percent indoor capacity.
- In parishes with an average two-week testing positivity rate above 5 percent, bars without conditional restaurant permits can open for outdoor consumption only, at 25 percent capacity. In parishes with an average two-week positivity rate of 5 percent or under, bars may open for on-premises consumption at 25 percent of their usual capacity, pending approval of local governing authorities.
- Face coverings are still required statewide for anyone entering businesses or other public buildings.
- Indoor social gatherings are limited to the lesser of 25 percent capacity, up to 75 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 percent capacity, up to 150 people.
- Sporting events are limited to 25 percent capacity.
Additional restrictions in New Orleans (Updated Thursday, Jan. 7)
As of Friday, Jan. 8, New Orleans moves into a modified version of phase one.
- Most businesses are restricted to 25 percent indoor capacity.
- All businesses must register with the state Fire Marshal to operate.
See the city’s Safe Reopening page for more information.
Getting tested for COVID-19
Lens health reporter Philip Kiefer has put together a testing resources guide, which will be updated periodically. (Sept. 29, 2020)
Resources and basic needs
- Landlord-tenant legal assistance is available from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. Visit their website or call (504) 529-1000. The Fair Housing Action Center is also taking housing discrimination complaints by phone at (504) 596-2100 or (877) 445-2100.
- The New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board and Entergy have suspended service shutoffs.
- Second Harvest Food Bank locations can be found by dialing 211.
- The NOLA Public Schools district has a map of pickup locations for breakfast, lunch and after-school meals for local students who are out of school.
- SAMHSA distress helpline: 1-800-985-5990. Details on other mental health services at NOLA Ready.
- Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR) 24-hour hotline: 1-855-435-STAR.
- Virtual Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
- Catholic Charities can assist with completing SNAP applications/re-certifications, Medicaid applications and help with benefit enrollment checkups. Call Mary Smith: Office (504) 861-6360, cell (504) 605-9248 or Doug Kariker: Office (504) 310-6909, cell (504) 260-6443.
New Orleans’ One Stop Shop public portal is open
From the Mayor’s Office: Certain types of permits and licenses may once again be applied for on the One Stop App public portal. Link here: http://onestopapp.nola.gov.
These include building permits, sign permits, trade permits (including electrical and mechanical permits), and some permits related to streets and sidewalks.These permits, as well as other permit and license types, may still be applied for by email at the following addresses:
- Building Permit Applications: email@example.com
- Short Term Rental Applications: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alcohol Permit Applications: email@example.com
- Ground Transportation Permit Applications: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Business License Applications: email@example.com
- Trade License Applications: firstname.lastname@example.org
Payments for all permit and license types remain online through the One Stop App. If you have questions about filing applications or making payments online, check http://nola.gov/onestop/help-with-the-one-stop-app/. Any additional questions can also be sent to the listed email addresses or you can call One Stop at (504) 658-7125.
More resources from state govt.
- Louisiana 211 Network – Dial 211 to answer questions about coronavirus.
- State Health Dept.’s COVID Toll-Free Hotline: 1-866-310-7977 (24/7, counselors available, all calls confidential)
- La. Dept. of Insurance: www.ldi.louisiana.gov/consumers/insurance-type/healthinsurance/covid-19
- NEW from Insurance Dept.: “Donelon Authorizes Emergency Rule 36 to Address Statewide Public Health Threat“
- Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS): DCFS.louisiana.gov
- SNAP benefits: 1-888-524-3578, text GETSNAP (no spaces) to 898211
- La. Dept. of Education: https://louisianabelieves.com/resources/covid-19
- La. Workforce Commission: laworks.net
- Unemployment Insurance Claim Center: 1-866-783-5567
- Louisiana Dept. of Revenue: revenue.louisiana.gov
- Louisiana Economic Development-Resources for impacted businesses: www.opportunitylouisiana.com/covid-19-assistance
- State Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV): www.expresslane.org
- Office closures and service limitations – offices.omv.la.gov
The National Emergency Library
From The Internet Archive: “During this unprecedented time in history, access to printed books is becoming difficult or impossible. COVID-19 is forcing students, educators, and everyday readers to rely on digital books more than ever before. That’s why the Internet Archive has temporarily suspended all waitlists, allowing you to immediately check out any of the 1.4 million books currently in our lending library. Until June 30th or the end of the US national emergency (whichever comes later), every borrowable book will be immediately accessible by anyone—creating, in effect, a National Emergency Library.”
How to help
- Donate: NOLA Virtual Tip Jar. A spreadsheet listing Venmo accounts for local service industry workers.
- Donate: Supplies for Saints is coordinating donations of personal protective equipment — such as surgical masks, gloves and gowns — to local hospitals.
- Donate: The city of New Orleans has set up personal protective equipment dropboxes for first responders. Accepted items: Masks (surgical, P100, N95), gloves (latex or nitrile), disposable medical gowns, goggles and face shields. The boxes are located at Engine house 16 at 2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Engine house 21 at 3940 Paris Ave. and Engine house 27 at 2118 Elysian Fields Ave. For donations larger than what could fit in a drop box, contact email@example.com.
- Donate: The United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Hospitality Cares Pandemic Response Fund.
- Donate: New Orleans Business Alliance gig economy worker relief fund.
- Donate: Greater New Orleans Foundation Disaster Response and Restoration Fund.
- Donate: The Blood Center.
We will be updating this page and posting additional resources. Email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Coronavirus guide.”