About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people, such as has been seen with recent outbreaks of MERS and SARS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Louisiana Department of Health, the Louisiana Governor's Office, and Northeast Delta Human Services Authority continue to closely monitor this situation.
"Our top priority is the health and safety of our clients and staff. Extensive discussion has occurred around this emerging situation, and several preventative measures have been implemented in regards to protecting the vulnerable populations that our agency serves. We recognize the importance of implementing appropriate precautions and that such precautions will save countless lives."
– Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, Executive Director
How Northeast Delta HSA is Responding
To avoid the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) through the agency's clinics and offices, Northeast Delta Human Services Authority is implementing several new universal health and safety measures agency-wide.
Northeast Delta HSA serves as the foremost safety net provider of intellectual and physical disability supports, prevention and wellness programs, and behavioral and primary healthcare services. For this reason, effective immediately, all Northeast Delta clinics and facilities will primarily operate based on appointments only.
By temporarily discontinuing walk-in appointments for non-established clients, as well as being proactive about scheduling existing clients in advance of their appointments, the agency can limit human to human contact and more easily practice social distancing to lessen the spread of COVID-19. However, and at the same time, the agency will rely on its telepsychiatry capacity, and case managers will perform well checks to verify that all clients are receiving the care they need during this time.
Prevention and wellness outreach efforts, assessments, and screenings in schools and communities will be significantly lessened to reduce the chance of community spread of COVID-19. Additionally, in-home services for clients with developmental disabilities will be prioritized based on those clients with the greatest need. Developmental Disabilities staff will be diligent in communicating with all clients to ensure that their needs continue to be met.
Precautions are now in place for those who schedule appointments to visit the agency's clinics and administration offices. All staff, clients, and visitors will have their temperature checked upon entry. They will be asked a series of questions as well. If fever or other symptoms are present, and if they answer yes to certain questions, those individuals will not be permitted to enter the facility.
Furthermore, all agency facilities have implemented enhanced cleaning procedures, including the use of coronavirus-killing cleaning agents multiple times each day.
As agency leaders look to the eventual recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for this region, state, and nation, Northeast Delta will be speaking to the health and human services need and their plan to help citizens establish a new normal. Follow Northeast Delta's social media pages for more information and stay tuned to future blog posts addressing what's to come in the future.
Tranformations Blog: www.nedeltahsa.org/blog
Press Releases: www.nedeltahsa.org/press-media
City of Monroe: https://monroela.us/coronavirus
Northeast Delta Human Services Authority 24/7 Helpline: 1-800-256-2522
Louisiana Department of Health Keep Calm Through COVID 24/7 Counseling Hotline: 1-866-310-7977
Louisiana Department of Health Compulsive Gambling Hotline: 1-877-770-7867
Louisiana Department of Health General Information Hotline: 211
SAMHSA National Substance Abuse and Mental Health 24/7 Helpline: 1-800-662-4357
"As we all grapple with the response phase of this COVID-19 pandemic, Northeast Delta is also making efforts to prepare for the inevitable recovery phase of this crisis. We will be prepared to help our communities establish a new normal and recover from COVID-19."
– Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, Executive Director
What You Can Do
To minimize the risk of spread, Louisiana officials are advising the public to practice social distancing by not gathering with large groups of people. Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana and introduce the virus to new communities.
Anyone who recently traveled to areas with confirmed cases of COVID-19 or who experience fever, cough, or other acute illness should contact a health care provider as soon as possible and mention your recent travel.
It is currently flu and respiratory disease season, and flu activity is still high and expected to continue for a number of weeks. Take steps to avoid spreading germs from any respiratory diseases by:
- Getting a flu vaccine and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
- Covering your cough.
- Staying home if you are sick.
- Washing your hands.
Press Releases & Memos
Helpful Northeast Delta Resources
To minimize the service gap for those clients not identified as high need during this crisis, Northeast Delta provides a 24/7 helpline at 1-800-256-2522. Additionally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-662-4357. For those seeking information about COVID-19, the Governor's Office is utilizing the state's 211 network to answer calls about the virus.
Individuals seeking additional information about the coronavirus and recommended precautions are encouraged to visit the Louisiana Department of Health's website at http://ldh.la.gov and the Louisiana Governor's Office website at https://gov.louisiana.gov.