COVID-19 Updates from GNO Inc.
NEW ORLEANS – Here are some updates about the COVID-19 pandemic from Greater New Orleans Inc., the regional business booster:
- $1.5T+ Relief Package – Senate and White House negotiators spent today working to get an agreement on a sweeping relief package for the coronavirus, which is still slated for a vote Monday. The bill would then go to the House for consideration. Under the GOP proposal, individuals and families would receive $1,200 and $2,400 in direct cash payments based on their income. In addition to the direct cash payments, the bill would provide $300 billion in federally guaranteed loans to small businesses and $200 billion for loans to hard-hit industries. As part of the package supported by GNO, Inc. and partners, the loans to small business would be forgiven, and converted to grants, if the funds are spent on payroll, rent/mortgage, and other direct ways to keep businesses operating.
- Drive-Thru Testing Criteria Expanded – New Orleans announced the expansion of testing criteria at two drive-through COVID-19 testing locations in Orleans Parish. Beginning tomorrow, Sunday, March 22, the testing will be available daily to any individual with a fever and other symptoms, with a cap of 250 tests per day, per site. New Orleans sites will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily or until the daily cap of 250 tests has been reached at an individual site. Locations:
- Mahalia Jackson Theater Parking Lot – 1419 Basin Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
- University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena Parking Lot – 6801 Franklin Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70148
- A third site is located at the Alario Center on the Westbank, operated by the Jefferson Parish Emergency Management Department
- Rapid Testing Approved – Diagnostics company Cepheid on Saturday said it has received emergency authorization from the U.S. FDA to use its rapid molecular test for point-of-care patients that can detect the virus that causes COVID-19 in 45 minutes. This is the first coronavirus test that can be conducted entirely at the point-of-care for patients and deliver results in less than an hour. Cepheid said tests will begin to ship on Friday, March 27 with plans to roll it out by Monday, March 30.
- GNO Companies Reinvent to Fight Coronavirus – Local companies are beginning to pivot their operations to meet new demands and contribute to the fight against Coronavirus. Examples include:
- Distillery Porchjam is switching its entire distillery operation over to produce hand sanitizer
- Furniture-maker GoodWood NOLA has become a hub for an array of local craftspeople now making face masks and other medical personal protective equipment
- Scale Workspace, and tenants Robert Forbes 3D, Entrescan, and the New Curiosity Shop, are prototyping 3D-manufactured versions of face masks and other medical equipment
- Thank You to our Healthcare Community – Governor John Bel Edwards released a video thanking our healthcare workers, who are emerging as the true heroes of this crisis.
- Looking for Work? – In the wake of economic changes that have taken place as a result of the coronavirus, some companies are in need of workers. GNO, Inc. has compiled a running list on WorkNOLA.com of companies looking to fill immediate labor needs.
Finally, we will continually update the GNO, Inc. Coronavirus web page, which includes business resources, health updates, and relevant news.