The More You Know

Assistance resources for those impacted by COVID-19
One Hundred Dollar Bill With Medical Face Mask On George Washington
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There is no precedent for the current state of the world and the impact of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Many of us feel we are grasping at straws to know where to begin in the “new normal.” We’ve lost jobs, businesses, independence, and, much more importantly, we’ve lost loved ones, civic leaders and culture bearers intrinsic to New Orleans.

The state of the tourism economy is bleak. I have the sad privilege of writing about it for months to come. After a while, what I most look forward to sharing are the stories that will also begin to trickle in – those stories of determination, community support and rebirth that we know will happen. New Orleanians will fight like hell to preserve our culture, and part of that is sharing it with others. It will undoubtedly be different, but when it is safe, visitors will return to New Orleans to dine in the world’s best restaurants waited on by impeccable servers, hear music in clubs that are either new or made it through, visit our museums and share photos of our architecture on Instagram.

That is the goal we are working toward. In the meantime, we need to prioritize our physical and financial health. To that end, here are some resources:

 

COVID-19 Testing

Do not underestimate your symptoms. For those in good health without underlying conditions, the virus may only present as a low-grade fever, maybe with some fatigue or a headache. At this time, treat those symptoms as potentially COVID-19 and seek medical advice and testing.

  • Ochsner COVID-19 Info Line (free nurse care) 866-703-7790
  • LCMC Free Screening Hotline 504-962-6202
  • Drive-Through Testing Sites (cars only) located at UNO Lakefront Arena Parking Lot and Alario Center on the Westbank
  • Car or Bike Drive-Through Testing Site at Odyssey House, 2700 S. Broad, limited hours
  • Louisiana Department of Health spreadsheet of statewide testing sites can be found here

 

Evictions and Foreclosures

  • New Orleans courts are closed until April 24, and no eviction is legal without a court order. Statewide, Gov. Edwards has suspended evictions until April 13. The federal CARES Act also prohibits evictions through July 25 if the landlord has a federally backed mortgage or received government housing subsidies
  • In New Orleans, if you know of a wrongful eviction, report it by calling 311 or 504-658-2299
  • Foreclosures are suspended until at least April 13
  • New Orleans City Council created a fact sheet that can be found here
  • The City Of New Orleans COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program has been created for those impacted by loss of work or need to care for a child or elderly person. To apply, residents should call the Mayor’s Office of Community Development at 504-658-4200 or Total Community Action at 504-882-7181 to begin the intake process

 

Electricity

  • Entergy New Orleans has pledged the suspension of late fees and electric service disconnections through May 15
  • Cleco has temporarily suspended electric service disconnects and late fees

 

Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO)

  • SWBNO has temporarily suspended water service shutoffs and will not be assessing late fees in March and April
  • SWBNO has a shortage of meter readers and will be estimating water and sewer service bills for customers due for a reading this week, possibly longer

 

Unemployment

  • Louisiana Workforce Commission has put new rules in place to help those with reduced hours, laid off or furloughed because of COVID-19. Learn more and file for unemployment benefits online or by calling the Claim Center at 866-783-5567

 

Food Resources

  • Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has new guidelines in place to allow those impacted financially by COVID-19 to receive SNAP benefits. Learn more and apply online here
  • Second Harvest Food Bank has partnered with multiple organizations across southern Louisiana to serve those in immediate need of food. There are new pickup locations and even a drop-off service that was just launched yesterday for home-bound people. Learn more online or call 211 or 855-392-9338 for food assistance

 

Small Businesses

  • The federal CARES Act includes help for small businesses with emergency loans. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce created a Small Business Guide with helpful details that can be found online
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration also has resources about its programs and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan available online

 

General Resources

  • New Orleans & Company guides to restaurants, streamed performances, and Toolkits for workers and employers in the tourism and hospitality industry are here
  • NOLA Ready is updated throughout each day with news and resources
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 website

 

 

Categories: Tourism Biz

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