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 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), the Louisiana Governor’s Office, and the 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 regard 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 Human Services Authority is Responding
To avoid the potential spread of coronavirus through the agency’s clinics and offices has implemented several 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, all clinics and facilities will continue to 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, 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 continue to 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 have been and will continue to be 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.
Follow Northeast Delta Human Services Authority’s social media pages for more information and stay tuned to future blog posts addressing what’s to come in the future.
Transformations 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
LDH Keep Calm Through COVID 24/7 Counseling Hotline: 1-866-310-7977
LDH Compulsive Gambling Hotline: 1-877-770-7867
LDH General Information Hotline: 211
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Substance Abuse and Mental Health 24/7 Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP
Emotional Wellness Series
“As we all grapple with the response phase of this COVID-19 pandemic, http://sidneyj32.sg-host.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/DD-Wheelchair-Services-Pic-1.jpg 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 continue 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.
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, http://sidneyj32.sg-host.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/DD-Wheelchair-Services-Pic-1.jpg provides a 24/7 helpline at 1-800-256-2522. Additionally, the 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 LDH’s website at http://ldh.la.gov and the Louisiana Governor’s Office website at https://gov.louisiana.gov.