The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), Office of Public Health Bureau of Community Preparedness (OPH BCP) is partnering with Louisiana 211 and the Louisiana Association of United Ways to ensure citizens can access the most current information available for COVID-19.  As members of the Governor’s COVID-19 Taskforce, LDH, OPH BCP and Louisiana 211 work in coordination with all state efforts for COVID-19.

Louisiana citizens can dial 211, 24/7 to reach a live 211 specialist to discuss available help and information for COVID-19. Citizens can also text the keyword “LACOVID” to 898-211 to have instant access to the most current information available in our state.

 

 COVID-19 FAQs for Louisiana

As of May 10, 2021 at 6:43pm

ABOUT COVID-19

Q: What is coronavirus or COVID-19?

Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a contagious virus that makes people sick.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. 

The following are the symptoms according to the CDC:

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.

Q: How does COVID-19 spread?

Health experts are still learning the details about how this new coronavirus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:

People can also become infected if they breathe in the droplets from the person who has COVID-19. This is why it’s important to stay at least 6 feet away from an infected person

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19: The following are the symptoms according to the CDC:

·         Fever or chills

·         Cough

·         Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

·         Fatigue

·         Muscle or body aches

·         Headache

·         New loss of taste or smell

·         Sore throat

·         Congestion or runny nose

·         Nausea or vomiting

·         Diarrhea

Q: What is the incubation period for COVID-19?

The incubation period for COVID-19 is about 5 days. The range is between 4 and 7 days, although it is sometimes quicker and it sometimes may take up to 14 days.

Q: Do I or people in my family still have to quarantine for 14 days since the CDC changed their guidelines?

No. As of December 7, 2020, The Louisiana Department of Health adopted CDC’s new to shorten the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days, or as few as 7 days with a negative test.

A quarantine period of 14 days is still preferred, but there are options to shorten quarantine based on local circumstances and resources.

Q: Is COVID-19 fatal?

While people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. and abroad, the majority of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 do recover.

The virus appears to only be severe if it reaches the lungs and remains untreated. Most healthy people can recover from COVID-19 at home.

Q: What steps should I take to protect myself and my family?

We all have a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The single most important thing we can all do is stay home when we are sick. Social distancing, washing hands vigorously and often, coughing into the elbow. If you are in public places where it is difficult to ensure a social distancing of at least 6 feet, the CDC recommends wearing a face cloth or mask.

Q: Are people in Louisiana required to wear masks or face coverings?

The statewide face covering/mask order that went into place last year ended on April 28, 2021 by Gov. Edwards. With the mandate now over, the authority to require the use of masks or face coverings rests with individual businesses and local governments, each of which can set their own rules.

The updated mask guidance from Gov. Edwards still requires masks to be worn on public transit and at K-12 schools, early childhood education centers, colleges and universities, hospitals and nursing homes.

COVID-19 STATE MITIGATION MEASURES  

Q: What are the latest changes to the state restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19?

Following months of sustained improvement in COVID hospitalizations and an increase in the supply and availability of vaccines, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that some mitigation measures will be eased and, starting Wednesday, April 28, the statewide mask mandate will be lifted.

State agencies may choose to opt-out of the mask mandate for state-owned buildings in writing to the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and also must inform people entering the building that masks are not mandatory. All state agencies in the Governor’s cabinet and under the Governor’s authority will keep their mask mandates.

The Department of Health additionally will issue a state health officer order that will mandate masks in all health care facilities.

Q: Should I still wear a mask in public if the mask mandate has been lifted?

When in doubt about whether to wear a mask at a certain activity where people outside of a person’s everyday household will be present, the Louisiana Department of Health recommends the following to keep safe during COVID:

  1. Making sure everyone around them is vaccinated, or
  2. Maintaining the 2 out of 3 Rule: To lower risk for COVID-19, make sure the activity meets two out of the following three conditions: Outdoors, Distanced and Masked.

Q:  Can all medical services resume?

Yes. All medical and dental services can continue to resume. These services have been allowed since Phase 2. Contact your healthcare provider for specific details and questions.

Q: Where can I get the most up-to-date information?

For Complete Guidance: Open Safely Portal https://opensafely.la.gov/        

State Pandemic Info - Louisiana Department of Health’s website www.ldh.la.gov/coronaviru

For information about schools, contact the Department of Education at this email address: LDOECOVID19Support@la.gov

National Pandemic info: The White House Task Force has established www.coronavirus.gov  as the centralized website for the federal government. The CDC continues to maintain www.cdc.gov/covid19 site.

STATE GUIDANCE: CDC UPDATED QUARANTINE GUIDELINES 

Q: Why did the CDC decide to change their quarantine guidelines to shorten the quarantine period?

The CDC is allowing a reduction in the length of quarantine to increase compliance with quarantine guidelines and reduce some economic, personal and physical burdens on people.

Quarantine is intended to reduce the risk of an infected person unknowingly transmitting the virus to others. It also ensures that people who become symptomatic during quarantine can rapidly be evaluated and treated.

However, a 14-day quarantine can impose personal burdens that may affect physical and mental health as well as cause economic hardship that may reduce compliance. And, the prospect of quarantine may keep people from naming contacts and may dissuade contacts from responding to contact tracer outreach if they perceive the length of quarantine as onerous.

Read the CDC guidance here

Q: Do I or people in my family still have to quarantine for 14 days since the CDC changed their guidelines to 7 or 10 days?

No. As of December 7, 2020, The Louisiana Department of Health adopted CDC’s new to shorten the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days, or as few as 7 days with a negative test.

A quarantine period of 14 days is still preferred, but there are options to shorten quarantine based on local circumstances and resources.

Q: How do I count the days of quarantine from the last day of exposure to COVID-19?

Quarantine should start as soon as they know they have been exposed. When counting the quarantine days, the last day they were exposed is day 0, the first day following the last day of exposure is day 1 and quarantine continues through day 14.

As of December 7, 2020, The Louisiana Department of Health adopted CDC’s updated shortening of the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days if no symptoms have been reported with daily monitoring during the quarantine, or as few as 7 days if the person remains asymptomatic and tests negative on day 5 of quarantine or later. LDH maintains that a quarantine of 14 days is still preferred.

Q: What is the risk if I or my family members decide to shorten our quarantine period from 14 days to 7 or 10 days? Is there anything more I/we should do?

Shorter quarantine periods do come with a risk that a person may be infectious when he or she leaves quarantine, and should be carefully evaluated when weighing options. LDH recommends the following for those deciding to shorten their quarantine periods:

Q: Do the new CDC guidelines with options to shorten the quarantine period apply to large groups of people living together (congregate settings) like nursing homes and correctional facilities?

The Louisiana Department of Health is currently recommending the full 14-day quarantine period for residents and staff of nursing homes and correctional facilities. This is because even a small post-quarantine transmission risk could result in substantial secondary clusters in settings where there is a high risk for transmission.

TESTING for COVID-19

Q: Should I be tested for the virus?

If you have mild symptoms, believe you have been exposed to someone who is COVID-positive and/or are worried that you might have COVID-19, you should be tested. Be sure to call your doctor or local health department first before you go to the doctor's office without an appointment to ensure you aren't potentially exposing others to the virus.

If you have mild symptoms and are worried that you might have COVID-19, call your doctor or local health department instead of going to a clinic or doctor's office without an appointment, to ensure you aren't potentially exposing others to the virus.

If you have severe breathing problems, seek medical attention or call 911 immediately and let the person you speak with know that you have respiratory problems and need to be isolated and seen right away.

LDH is publishing a daily list of testing sites at www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus . Click Guidance and Resources and see Community Testing Sites. 

Q: Where can I go to get tested?

Tests sites are being set up throughout the state at the local level. People wishing to be tested can find a testing site on the Department of Health’s website at: http://ldh.la.gov/COVID-19Testing. This site is updated often, whenever new sites are opened.

The website has a mapping feature to help users find the nearest testing site. Just enter your zip code in the search tool (found left of the top of the map). Information includes hours of operation, address, phone number and other requirements.

Each testing facility has their own criteria for testing. Many sites require a medical provider submit a written referral to the testing site, while others do not have such a requirement. It is important that you contact the test site location or your healthcare provider for instructions before traveling to the test site.

All testing is being done by clinical providers, clinics and in hospitals. If you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should contact your primary care physician for guidance.

Q: How are nasal COVID-19 tests conducted? How accurate are they?

At most testing sites, samples are taken from the nasal cavity using a swab from the inside of your nose. It usually takes from 3-5 days to get the results of these tests from the lab.

When getting tested, the person conducting the test will insert a long stick/swap up your nose and twirl it around to collect secretions on the swab. You may be asked to do the nose swab yourself. The swab must be inserted pretty far back in the nose to get the sample.

No medical test is 100% accurate for many reasons, including error and timing of the test. Because it is possible to get a negative result even when you have coronavirus, it is important to be careful even when you receive a negative result. So, if you have symptoms – even if you get a negative test result – it is advisable to stay at home until you have been symptom-free for at least 72 hours.

 Q: How long does it take to get test results?

Currently, most commercial labs that process the tests are able to report results back to the patient in one to three days. The Department of Health does not get any test results, and we recommend that patients who get tested ask staff at the testing site when to expect results, and where to call to get those results. We recommend everyone, when they are getting tested, to ask for a phone number to call or website/app to use if they haven’t received their results within the timeframe that was given.

Q: What should I do while I wait for my test results? Can I go out in public and/or return to work?

The Department of Health strongly urges you to self-quarantine while you wait for your test result. Testing does not replace quarantining. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should self-quarantine at your home and away from others, including your family if possible, for 14 days since the date of exposure.

Even if your test comes back negative prior to the end of the quarantine period, you still need to remain quarantined for the full 14 days. This is because the incubation period for the virus can be up to 14 days and unless you were tested on the 14th day from your exposure, a negative test earlier in the quarantine period does not mean you are not infected.

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q: What if I’m homeless and I tested positive or I cannot return to my current residence? Where can I go for housing/shelter during self-isolation?

Camp Chicot is currently the only site in the state for people who are homeless and test positive for COVID-19 and do not need assistance with activities for daily living such as eating, bathing, walking, etc.

A person seeking admission must provide name, date of birth, phone number, current medication (if taking any) and any medical diagnosis, the pick-up location and COVID test date.

The phone number for accessing this process is 877-766-2130. When calling this line, the person is entered in the contact tracing system; they will then be referred to a Resource Coordinator regarding isolation sites. A person seeking admission must provide name, date of birth, phone number, current medication (if taking any) and any medical diagnosis, the pick-up location and COVID test date.

Free transportation is arranged through Camp Chicot. Housing at the site is in RVs. Free laundry services and 3 meals a day are provided. Chicot has on-site medical personnel. Upon discharge case management will work with you to obtain temporary housing such as in a hotel or until other housing arrangements can be made.

Q: I would like for my clinic to offer COVID-19 testing to the public. What do I need to do?

There are no state requirements for clinics that want to provide COVID-19 testing to the public. Clinics are responsible for ordering their testing supplies, contracting with a laboratory to analyze the results, developing the necessary processes and training to implement a testing program, communicating with the public about the site and its hours of operation, and providing the results to those who were tested.

Q: I am interested in hosting a mobile test site at my office/facility/clinic/location. What do I need to do?

The Louisiana Office of Public Health, the Louisiana National Guard and local governments have been working together to set up mobile test sites. The goal is to make it as easy and convenient as possible for residents to get a test. For information about the need for, and to offer to host a site in your region, contact your OPH Regional Medical Director at: http://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/directory/category/13

Q: Are nursing homes required to report if a staff member or resident has COVID?

Yes, nursing facilities are not only required to routinely test their residents and staff, they must also report the test results to the Louisiana Department on Health.

personnel. Upon discharge case management will work with you to obtain temporary housing such as in a hotel or until other housing arrangements can be made.

About Getting Tested

Q: When/why should I be tested for COVID-19?

You should get a COVID-19 test for the following reasons:

Q: How long after exposure should I get tested?

You should wait a few days from when you were exposed. This is because the time between when you are exposed and when your test would be positive can vary from 4-14 days. Therefore, even though someone may have the virus, the test would not be positive until possibly day 4 or longer.  If you have been a close contact of someone who is positive, consult with your doctor to see if they think you need to be tested and when.

Q: What if I don’t have a doctor or have insurance?

If you do not have a doctor or if you do not have insurance, contact your nearest community health clinic.

You can search for a clinic near you at: www.lpca.net/main/for-patients/find-a-health-center. Please use the search tool to find a clinic near you using your zip code.

If you are looking for information about testing, LDH publishes a daily list of testing sites at www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus. Click Guidance and Resources and see Community Testing Sites.

Q: Should I go to the ER?  Or, when should I go to the ER?

You should go to the ER if you are seriously ill (difficulty breathing, confusion, dehydrated). If you are sick with typical cold or flu symptoms, call your primary care doctor.

Q: If I need to get tested for COVID-19, how much will it cost?

The treating physician determines where the test is sent for analysis. And, the State is preparing to test more broadly as the federal government expands its testing guidelines. Testing at the state lab is no-cost, but there are criteria for testing at the state lab.

Today, most testing is being conducted by private labs, and there is a cost. These commercial tests are covered under Medicare, Medicaid, and by most insurance companies as an essential health benefit, and the cost vary depending on your coverage. We are unsure at this point if people without insurance will be charged for a test done by a private lab.

Q: The federal government has announced that all testing is free. Does this include the uninsured?

In Louisiana, no commercial insurance company can charge a patient an out of pocket fee for COVID testing. Medicaid and Medicare cover all of the costs of COVID testing.  The federal government has made provisions for uninsured patients to receive free COVID testing; however, you should contact the testing site before you arrive to ensure they do not require a physician order for testing or that you are an existing patient of that healthcare facility's provider network.

Testing is free at all federally qualified health centers (community clinics). You can search for a clinic near you at: www.lpca.net/main/for-patients/find-a-health-center. Please use the search tool to find a clinic near you using your zip code. You must contact the clinic first to get information about their testing procedures and requirements.

Q: Do immigrants have access to testing regardless of identification?

The testing criteria for COVID-19 do not require showing official government identification. Everyone, including documented and undocumented immigrants, who is experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, you should contact their primary care physician for guidance to see if they fit the clinical criteria for testing.

Q: I did not test positive for COVID-19 but I am interested in taking an antibody test to confirm if I have developed an immunity. Is this possible?

Check with your healthcare provider. If you can find a provider doing the antibody test, then yes, it might be possible to get such a test.

Details: CDC has developed a laboratory blood test to assist with efforts to determine how much of the U.S. population has been infected with COVID-19. However, antibody test results should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose someone with an active the COVID-19 infection. It typically takes 1 to 3 weeks after someone becomes infected for their body to make antibodies; some people may take longer to develop antibodies. Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, the test may not find antibodies in someone with an active infection.

Q: Are positive results from antibody tests reported to the State and counted as new cases (as far as the numbers go on the public reporting site?

No. We are currently not including positive antibody tests into case counts. This is because the diagnostic tests are better defined and more reliable. At the appropriate time, we will incorporate antibody test results into our cases counts.

Q: How are the number of active COVID-19 cases determined?

Because of several factors and variables, including when a case is identified, when that person becomes symptom-free and because we only know of cases reported to the State, there is not a simple way to determine the number of active cases in a region or statewide at any given time. For these reasons, the Department of Health does not calculate an accurate number for active cases.

Q: On it’s website, the State calculates cases as “Presumed Recovered.” How is that determined?

Presumed recovered counts are updated weekly on the coronavirus website. A person is presumed recovered if:

·         it has been more than 14 days, since he/she tested positive and he/she is not currently in the hospital or deceased (when hospital status is known), or

·         It has been more than 21 days since he/she tested positive and he/she is not deceased (when hospital status is unknown).

Q: Are individuals tracked to see how many tests they've had and what tests were done and reported as one? And, if an individual is retested, or when they are required to have two tests in order to return to work, are each of their tests being counted as a new case in the numbers?

All positive cases are de-duplicated and represent one individual regardless of how many positive tests they received.

Q: Earlier this year I was extremely ill. My doctor tested me for the coronavirus and the test result was negative. I recovered, but I believe I had the virus. How can I know if I had COVID-19?

It is possible for a COVID-19 test to give a negative result in some people with the virus. This means that you could possibly have had COVID-19 even though the test was negative. For this reason, healthcare providers treat a person’s symptoms regardless of the test result.

 An antibody test would indicate whether you had COVID-19 or not. We recommend that you talk to your healthcare provider about such a test and any other recommended next steps.

Q: Upon recovery from COVID-19, am I immune?

At this time, there are still some unknowns. For other viruses, people have developed immunities after being exposed to the virus.

However, Since COVID-19 is a new coronavirus, we do not know if the antibodies that result from a COVID-19 illness will provide someone with immunity from a future infection. If antibodies do provide immunity, we don’t know what titer or amount of antibodies would be protective or the duration that protection would last. CDC scientists are conducting studies to better understand the level of antibodies needed for protection, the duration of that protection, and the factors associated with whether a person develops a protective antibody response.

Q: If someone has multiple tests – some are positive and some negative – are all those tests being counted as positive cases or are they looking at the names for duplicates?

Case counts reported on the LDH website represent individual persons with positive results for COVID-19, not numbers of positive test results received. Multiple results are often reported for an individual (positive, negative, or otherwise) due to repeat testing, but a single positive test for each individual is used for case counting.

LDH uses an extensive deduplication process involving automated and manual review to account for non-exact person matches due to data entry errors, incomplete data, and other issues in the lab data reported to LDH.

Despite our best efforts, there may still be a small number of duplicate records in our dataset, and these will be resolved as they are detected, which may lead to changes in case counts. The actual number of cases is likely higher than reported here due to test reporting lags, incomplete testing, and undetected cases among asymptomatic individuals.

Q: Hasn’t a new at-home test been developed so people can see if they have ever been exposed to the coronavirus?

The Food and Drug Administration, FDA, has approved the first coronavirus test that lets people collect a sample at home. This test marks the first time the agency has cleared an at-home Covid-19 test that will allow for at-home sample collection.

Developed by LabCorp, the test will initially be made available to health care workers and first responders who might have been exposed to the virus.

Q: My tests were done by a Quest Diagnostics lab. What’s the process getting my results from Quest?

Laboratory results for a Quest Diagnostics lab will be sent to you through the secure MyQuest online portal or app. Sign up at MyQuestDiagnostics.com or download the app on the Apple App Store of Google Play.

If you have difficulty scheduling your appointment, please call Quest’s dedicated COVID-19 line at 866-448-7719, Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM

Q: Can I get a test from Quest Labs without a doctor’s order?

Testing sites at a Walmart in Shreveport and one a Walmart in LaPlace are using Quest Diagnostics as their lab partner. Tests are available to people who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and all health care providers and first responders.

The sites are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting. The testing site will require an appointment through Quest’s MyQuestTM online portal and app, www.MyQuestCOVIDTest.com, which will screen and schedule appointments for those individuals that meet medical eligibility for the testing sites.

If you have difficulty scheduling your appointment, please call Quest’s dedicated COVID-19 line at 866-448-7719, Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM

Q: My tests were done by LabCorp. What’s the process of getting my results?

Results for tests conducted by LabCorp can be accessed through their online portal at www.labcorp.com/results or their mobile app. Download the LabCorp Mobile App on the Apple App Store of Google Play.

LabCorp processed the tests conducted at UNO and at Armstrong Park.

Q: I heard there is an app that will help me know if I need to be tested?

Yes, there is an app and a website that has been developed by the CDC and Apple. These tools guide people through a series of questions about their health and exposure to determine if they should seek care for COVID-19 symptoms.  The tool provides CDC recommendations on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, recommendations on testing, and when to contact a medical provider. The free app can be downloaded  Apple’s App Store or on Google Play or access the tool online at www.apple.com/covid19.

Q: Do hospitals have policies in place to keep inpatients who have been tested for COVID-19 and whose tests are pending from having visitors in their rooms?

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are restricting non-essential personnel from visiting people in their facilities. Patients under investigation (awaiting testing) should not have visitors, and healthcare personnel should be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

Q: Is the State testing patients who are in jail?

Patients who are suspected to have COVID-19 and who reside in a correctional facility or in a long term care facility are appropriate for testing by the State lab.

Q: Of the people who have tested positive so far in Louisiana, how many have needed hospitalization?

The most up-to-date information about cases, deaths, hospitalizations and other data can be found at the  Department of Health’s COVID-19 website: www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus 

Q: What are the appropriate swab kits to use for COVID19 testing?

Providers can use any available Viral Transport Media (VTM) or Universal Transport Media (UTM) available to them, making sure to follow instructions on the testing materials and ensuring the vial is completely closed and sealed.

Q: If an employee on the oil rig tests positive for COVID-19, should we isolate them on the rig or send them home?

According to the CDC, it is safer to remove the worker from the rig. Patients can be more safely isolated in a hospital or home setting, and it’s better to have the patient close to medical care in the event that that person’s health worsens.

Q: Is everyone who dies being tested for COVID-19?

The only decedents who should be tested for COVID-19 by a coroner are those people who die with respiratory symptoms that are suggestive of a COVID-19, AND who did not have a link to someone with a known COVID-19. There is no need to test those who die of a “COVID-19-like” illness if they have been associated with another case (we’ll consider this a COVID-19 death). In addition, there is no need to test for COVID-19 in a person who did not die of a severe respiratory illness suggestive of COVID-19.

Q: What determines whether or not a fatality is attributed to COVID-19?

When we've counted a death as a COVID-19 death it means there has been a positive test result. It does not necessarily mean it is the cause of death. The cause of death could be a combination of COVID-19 and underlying conditions/complications.

Q: What is the COVID app that LDH is promoting? How do I get it and why is it beneficial to have this on my phone? Should I be concerned about my privacy?

The app is called COVID Defense, and is available for e application for iPhones, Google and Android phones.

The app allows users to receive notifications informing them if there is a risk they were exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus. Use of the technology is completely voluntary, private, and secure. COVID Defense does not collect the location of a phone or individual to detect exposure, and it does not share a user's identity. App users must opt in to use the tool and may opt out at any time. No personal information is required to use the app.

COVID Defense can be downloaded in the iPhone App Store or Android Google Play Store. For more information or to download the application, visit coviddefensela.com.

Q: What are the current CDC testing requirements for international travel to the US?

Effective January 26, 2021, CDC requires that all air passengers 2 years of age or older traveling to the US (including US Citizens and legal permanent residents) to get tested no more than 3 days before travel by air into the United States and show a negative PCR test result (rapid tests are not acceptable) to the airline before boarding a flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel). This does not apply to air passengers flying from a US territory or possession to a US state. The airline will confirm a COVID-19 negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding. The test used must be authorized for use by the relevant national authority for the detection of COVID-19 in the country where the test is administered. For additional information about these requirements visit the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

COVID-19 VACCINES

Q: Who is eligible to receive a vaccine at a pharmacy or other provider?

Beginning Monday, March 29, everyone in Louisiana ages 18 and over is eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is available to those 16 and older.

Q: Where can I find a location to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

To locate a pharmacy or other provider, you can go to the Louisiana Department of Health website at covidvaccine.la.gov

If you need further assistance finding a location or scheduling a vaccine please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: Do I have to make an appointment or can I just walk in?

Patients must contact a participating provider or register online with the provider to make an appointment. You can find a provider at the Louisiana Department of Health website at covidvaccine.la.gov.  Patients who arrive without an appointment will not be vaccinated. Vaccinations are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

If you need assistance scheduling a vaccine please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: How do I register for the vaccine? What is the Vaccine Hotline?

As of April 8, 2021 LDH now has a COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: 1-855-453-0774. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Vaccine Hotline will help residents:

The hotline will be able to schedule vaccine appointments for residents at any LDH vaccination sites or with other providers that use a phone number to schedule. For providers who only offer web-based scheduling, call agents may be able to help residents navigate those systems.

For a full list of the vaccine providers and locations to register on your own please go to covidvaccine.la.gov        

Q: What do I do if there is no pharmacy or other vaccine provider near me?

The Department of Health is working every day to enroll more pharmacies and other providers in the COVID vaccination program. Their goal is to have at least one pharmacy enrolled in every parish that has a pharmacy.

If you need further assistance assistance finding a location or scheduling a vaccine please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: How is it determined the amount of vaccine Louisiana receives each week?

The federal government determines each state’s vaccine allotment. Weekly, Operation Warp Speed notifies Louisiana and other states about the allotment of vaccines each state will receive. The states then determine what clinics, pharmacies and hospitals will receive a portion of that week’s allocation. Today, there are more than 1,800 Louisiana providers enrolled to administer vaccines. However, there is only a relatively small amount of vaccine being allocated to each state each week. The result is only a small percentage of clinics and pharmacies have received doses.

How will the vaccine be distributed?

LDH has been working closely with the private and public sector, including pharmacies, hospitals and nursing homes, in making the vaccine available at locations in both urban and rural communities throughout the state. HHS has also partnered with national pharmacy chains, and expects to partner with independent pharmacies and regional chains to ensure access.

Louisiana's vaccine distribution plan is designed to ensure that all communities have just and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and information about the vaccine.

Information about vaccine distribution and administration can change quickly. LDH is committed to transparency about the vaccine, including safety concerns, and will continuously educate the public and address questions the public may have.

Q: How and when will nursing home residents be vaccinated?

All Louisiana nursing homes are being vaccinated via a partnership between the federal government, CVS and Walgreens.

Q: How does the vaccine work?

Unlike many vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine does not contain a dead or a weakened virus that triggers an immune response. Instead, the COVID-19 vaccine contains a genetic instruction manual that tells your immune system how to respond and protect you from exposure to the actual virus.

The technology used in the vaccines is not new. It is called mRNA, or messenger RNA, and it has been around for decades. This is the first time mRNA has been used in a vaccine, but the effect is the same as other vaccines: Your body gets protection without the serious consequences of a severe illness due to COVID-19 exposure.

Q: Are the vaccines safe?

The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority. The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. CDC has developed a new tool, v-safe, as an additional layer of safety monitoring to increase our ability to rapidly detect any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe is a new smartphone-based, after-vaccination health checker for people who receive COVID-19 vaccines. By using v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: What if I’m concerned about allergies or adverse reaction to the vaccines?

According to the CDC, if you previously had an immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccines (even if it was not severe), you should not get either of the currently available vaccines, Pfizer or Moderna.

Those with a history of allergies, however, should consult with their doctor before getting vaccinated.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction to the vaccine? What should I do if I have these symptoms after getting the vaccine?

All people who get a COVID-19 vaccine should be monitored on site. People who have had severe allergic reactions or who have had any type of immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine or injectable therapy should be monitored for at least 30 minutes after getting the vaccine. All other people should be monitored for at least 15 minutes after getting the vaccine. 

If you experience a severe allergic reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine and leaving the site, you should call 911.

In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that your body is building protection. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours or if your side effects do not seem to be going away after a few days.

Please visit the CDC website for more information about allergic reactions and how to report them  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/allergic-reaction.html

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: If an individual gets the first vaccine and has an allergic reaction to the shot, should they get the second dose?

According to the CDC, if you previously had an immediate allergic reaction - even if it was not severe - to any ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccines, you should not get either of the currently available vaccines, Pfizer or Moderna.

If you had an immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the second dose. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist in allergies and immunology to provide more care or advice.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: Regarding allergic reactions, if someone had a reaction after taking the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine can/should they take the J&J vaccine? And, if someone did not take the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine due to concerns of allergic reaction should they have the same concerns about taking the J&J?

No, if the patient had an allergic reaction to either Pfizer or Moderna, it is not recommended at this point that they get either a second dose of the same vaccine, or get a different vaccine brand (including J&J).  That may change in the future though.  If they have had an allergic reaction to any vaccine, all future vaccinations should be discussed with their primary MD.

Q: Are there side effects to getting the vaccine?

Minor side effects are a normal sign that the body is building protection. Common minor side effects include pain and swelling in the arm along with fever, chills, tiredness, or a headache often lasting 24-36 hours. Pain at the injection site can be relieved by applying a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area. The discomfort from fever includes drinking plenty of fluids and dressing lightly.

These normal side effects may feel like a minor flu and even affect the ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: How common is a severe medical reaction to the COVID vaccine?

The most common reaction to the vaccine is an allergic reaction. The CDC has just issued a report on these allergic reactions and found that during the first 1.8 million first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, there were 21 severe reactions (11.1 cases per million doses). The large majority occurred within 15 minutes of vaccination. For this reason, people with a history of allergic reactions to vaccines are monitored for 30 minutes after getting the shot. To date, there have been zero such reactions to patients in Louisiana. For comparison, the allergic reaction to the flu vaccine is just above 1 case per million doses.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: If I get the vaccine, when should I expect to have side effects?

You may experience some side effects that can occur within the first three days of vaccination, and resolve within 1–3 days of onset. These minor side effects include soreness, facial redness or flushing, an increased or rapid heartbeat or shortness of breath. Some people have no side effects.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: Will the second dose of the vaccine have the same side effects as the first?

Side effects after your second shot may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot. These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: Will other vaccines such as the flu vaccine protect me from Covid-19?

No. While getting your annual flu vaccine is always a good idea, as it helps protect both you and the community from what can be a serious virus, it will not provide any protection against the Covid-19 virus. Only the three currently authorized vaccinations (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) will provide protection against Covid-19.

Q: I received the vaccine and now my arm has a large knot at the injection site that is raised, red, and warm to the touch.  What should I do to treat this?

Reactions to the vaccine at the site of the injection are very common.  Redness, warmth, swelling, and pain are all very common. The treatment is to apply ice (which decreases inflammation), take Ibuprofen or Tylenol for pain (unless your doctor has advised you not to use these medications), and time.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: Will the vaccines be ok for a person with cancer, who is immunocompromised, or has a chronic disease?

The COVID vaccine was not tested on patients undergoing cancer treatments or patients during clinical trials. As the vaccine becomes more widely available, there will be more information learned about the indications, benefits, and side effects in people with serious health conditions. You should always consult with your doctor to get the most up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision about vaccination.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: How long will the vaccine offer protection?

This is a new vaccine so it is still unknown as there is not enough information at this point to know how long the vaccine will protect against the coronavirus. As more people are vaccinated, we will have more information about how long the protection will last.

Q: Is the vaccine OK for children?

As of now, there is no vaccine for children. All participants in the vaccine trials are over the age of 18, although one company (Pfizer) received permission to include children 12-18 in trials and received approval for people 16 years of age or older to receive their vaccine. Until there’s a vaccine safely tested for children under 16, there will not be a vaccine for children.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: How much will it cost to get vaccinated?

While we remain in the pandemic the federal government has ensured that vaccines are made available to those in need without cost to the individual. A provider cannot ask a patient for payment, though they can bill insurance for a vaccine administration fee or the federal government if the person is uninsured. A provider also may not bill for a regular office visit to administer the vaccine.

Q: I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: How long must a person wait before getting the COVID vaccine if they had COVID?

Vaccination should be deferred until the person has recovered from the acute illness (if the person had symptoms) and criteria have been met for them to discontinue isolation. This recommendation applies to people who develop COVID-19 infection before receiving any vaccine doses, those who develop COVID-19 infection after the first dose but before receipt of the second dose, and those who tested positive on an antibody test prior to receiving any vaccine dose.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: How long should I wait between getting a pneumonia vaccine and then getting a COVID shot?

A person should wait 14 days between getting their pneumonia vaccine and one for COVID-19.

Q: Is there a recommended waiting period for the COVID-19 vaccine after someone receives a rabies shot?

Given the lack of data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, the vaccine series should routinely be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration with any other vaccine. So, wait 14 days after the rabies vaccine to get a COVID vaccine.

Q: Once I get vaccinated, will I still have to wear a mask in public?

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.

Factors will include how many people get vaccinated and how the virus spreads in communities after vaccinations become more widely available.

Q: Once the vaccine is available and many people are getting the shot, can businesses fully reopen? Can we go back to normal?

The vaccine is an important step in allowing us to get back to “normal.” However, communities will still monitor the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in their areas, and make decisions based on the most up-to-date information.

Q: What is the CDC guidance for people who are fully vaccinated?

People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series or two weeks after they receive a single-dose vaccine.

Fully vaccinated people can:

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

Q: Is it possible to have a positive result for COVID after getting the vaccine?

Antibody tests should (and hopefully will be) positive following vaccination. However, if a person is infected with COVID (even though they have been vaccinated), they could still be positive on a viral test. Getting vaccinated will not make you positive on a viral test if you are not infected with the actual virus.

Q: I have received the two doses of the vaccine – am I safe/immune from contracting COVID if I’ve been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID?

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to produce the cells necessary to offer protection from the virus after vaccination. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: Will the pharmacy or other provider keep a waiting list of registrants? (once they run out?)

Some participating pharmacies and other vaccine providers are allowing people to add their names to a waiting list once additional vaccines become available.

Q: Do I have to go to a pharmacy or other vaccine provider in my parish?

No. You can make an appointment with any pharmacy or other provider that has the vaccine.

Q: Do I have to go back to the same pharmacy or provider for the second dose?

Yes. The pharmacy or provider where you received your first dose will have the record of that vaccination.

Q: Will I have any issue getting my second dose of vaccine at the same provider?

All vaccine providers (pharmacies, clinics and hospitals) are automatically scheduled to receive 2nd dose shipments from the State and people must return to the same provider where they received their 1st vaccine dose. The Department of Health has given guidance to vaccine providers to make sure and schedule people for their 2nd doses before they leave after receiving their 1st dose of vaccine.

For any issues scheduling your second dose please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: 1-855-453-0774

Q: What do I do if I am homebound and cannot visit a local pharmacy or other vaccine provider?

Anyone who is homebound, for whatever reason, can call the state’s Vaccination Hotline at 1-855-453-0774 to have a provider bring a vaccine directly to their home.

Q: How do I get information about the number of vaccine doses that have been given out in Louisiana and in my parish?

The Department of Health has a dashboard on its covid vaccine website – covidvaccine.la.gov – that provides vaccine information. At this time, we have data at the regional level. In time, we hope to offer more and more detailed information on the dashboard.

Q: Is the vaccine only available to Louisiana residents or can someone from out of state get the vaccine?

Louisiana is not limiting vaccinations to Louisiana residents. People from out of state who meet Louisiana state eligibility requirements can make an appointment for a vaccine. 

Q: Can people who immigrated to the United States or who are visiting from another country receive a vaccination in Louisiana? Do they need to show documentation?

The vaccine is available to anyone who meets the current age, health status or eligibility group status. Louisiana or U.S. citizenship is not a requirement.

Q: What if I don’t have an ID? Can I still get the vaccine if I’m in an eligible age group?

While the guidance from LDH does encourage providers to ask for some form of ID to assess age, if the person has no ID they will accept self-attestation.

Q: Do I have to be a patient or current customer at a vaccine provider to make an appointment or will vaccine providers prioritize their own patients/customers for vaccine appointments?

Vaccines must be made available to all people in Phase 1b Tier 1. Vaccine providers cannot establish and prioritize subgroups within the nine population groups listed. As an example, when offering the vaccine or setting appointments, providers cannot limit vaccination to their existing patients nor can they offer vaccine to some eligible subgroups but not others. LDH encourages and expects a fair and equitable process that does not advantage or disadvantage any one group or classification of patient/recipient over another.

Q: I got my first dose at Walgreens but have been unable to find out when I need to go back for my second dose. What should I do?

Please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline for assistance scheduling your second dose: 1-855-453-0774

Q: Can a COVID positive person receive their second dose of the vaccine?

Whether it’s for the first or second dose of the vaccine, someone with a known COVID-19 infection should put off their vaccination until they have recovered from symptoms or the criteria has been met for them to discontinue isolation.

Q: I prefer one brand of the vaccine instead of the other(s). How can I find a place that is using the brand I prefer?

For the most part, Pfizer doses have been delivered to hospitals and Moderna doses have gone to pharmacies and everywhere else. The best way to find a location(s) that is using the brand you prefer is to ask each what brand they are using when trying to set an appointment. For assistance scheduling an appointment please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: Who do I contact if I’m interested in becoming a COVID-19 vaccine provider?

LDH has established a COVID-19 Provider Enrollment Hotline to assist potential COVID-19 vaccination providers with enrolling in the program. If there are questions related to enrollment, please call 225-325-5880. A team member will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm (excluding holidays) to help complete the enrollment process. The following help will be provided:

For technical assistance with LA LINKS, providers should email: LA.LINKS@la.gov

Q: I have moved to Louisiana from another state where I received my first dose of the COVID vaccine. How and/or where can I get my second dose in Louisiana? 

The Louisiana Office of Public Health is offering second doses at some of their Parish Health Units. Use the Louisiana vaccine finder site, https://ldh.la.gov/covidvaccine-locations/, and search by parish. Not all Health Units are offering the vaccine, so you may need to search multiple parishes.

Q: Why should I get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine instead of Moderna & Pfizer? Is it as effective as the other two?

People should get any FDA-approved COVID vaccine as soon as it becomes available..

After rigorous trials and evaluation, the FDA has found the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be safe and effective. It has been authorized for use, just like the other two vaccines. Just like the other vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 100 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

You are also fully vaccinated with one dose of this vaccine, whereas the other authorized vaccines are two doses. There are many people who actually prefer a one and done vaccine.

Q: I have lost/misplaced the Vaccination Card that was given to me when I received my COVID vaccination. How can I get another card?

A person who received a vaccine can register online with the MyIR Mobile app to access his immunization record. The URL is: https://app.myirmobile.com/auth/register?state=LA        

You can also use the v-safe app. This app uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information. V-safe will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if needed. For more information, go here: https://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/4086click        

 Q: I heard in the news there are concerns about  the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being morally compromised? What should I do?

LDH encourages residents to consult their doctors or medical professionals in their communities in making an informed decision. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and effective, and is another tool that will help us protect communities and ultimately end the COVID pandemic that has cost us more than 9,600 lives in Louisiana. LDH encourages residents to take the first vaccine made available to them - if they pass it up it could quite literally cost them their life.

Q: Are fetal cells used to make the COVID-19 vaccines?

The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any aborted fetal cells. However, Pfizer and Moderna did perform confirmation tests (to ensure the vaccines work) using fetal cell lines. And Johnson & Johnson uses fetal cell lines in vaccine development, confirmation and production. Fetal cell lines are cells that grow in a laboratory. They descend from cells taken from elective abortions in the 1970s and 1980s. Those individual cells from the 1970s and 1980s have since multiplied into many new cells over the past four or five decades, creating fetal cell lines. Current fetal cell lines are thousands of generations removed from the original fetal tissue. They do not contain any tissue from a fetus.

Q: Where can I get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? Is it being distributed to every parish?

For the most part, Pfizer doses have been delivered to hospitals and Moderna doses have gone to pharmacies and other providers. Johnson & Johnson, since it is a one dose vaccine, is primarily being used for mass community vaccination events that will be taking place in every region of the state. The best way to find a location(s) that is administering the brand of vaccine you prefer is to ask vaccine providers what brand they are using when trying to set an appointment. LDH encourages residents to take the first vaccine made available to them - if they pass it up it could quite literally cost them their life.

Q: If I have asthma, can I take either of the two-shot series vaccines or do I have to wait for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

The medical literature does not suggest that the J&J vaccine is preferable to the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine in patients with asthma. In fact, asthma was a high-risk condition before J&J came out. We advise patients to get any vaccine that is available and convenient, and not wait.

Q: I have been vaccinated and my mother has been vaccinated. I would now like to visit her in her nursing home. I am told I cannot do this in her own room. When will I be allowed to visit with her in her room?

The Louisiana Department of Health is following guidance from the CDC issued last September. This guidance allows for on-site visits of nursing home residents in outside areas, in designated inside spaces, and in the residents’ rooms under certain conditions. The guidance recognizes the importance of safety measures while balancing the reality that physical separation from family and other loved ones can take a negative emotional toll on residents.

Each nursing home is implementing this guidance in a manner they feel best protects their residents and staff. However, in-room visitation is allowed by LDH and the CDC unless community transmission is high or the facility is undergoing an active outbreak. I encourage you to talk to the leadership of your loved one’s home to request and schedule your visits in a manner that complies with the CDC and State recommendations.

Q: Can someone with or who has previously had Guillain-Barre Syndrome get the COVID shot?

People who have previously had GBS may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. To date, no cases of GBS have been reported following vaccination in participants in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. One case of GBS was reported in a vaccinated participant in the Johnson & Johnson clinical trial (compared to one GBS case among those who received placebo). With few exceptions, the independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) general best practice guidelines for immunization do not include a history of GBS as a precaution to vaccination with other vaccines.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: What should I do if I had to reschedule my second dose vaccine appointment due to illness, but found out that the provider who gave me my first shot has switched vaccine brands?

Please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline for assistance scheduling your second dose: 1-855-453-0774

Q: I was ill and couldn’t make my appointment for my second dose and I am now being told by the place that gave me my first shot that I need to find another place to get my next shot. What should I do? 

Please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline for assistance scheduling your second dose: 1-855-453-0774

Q: Should I be concerned about the COVID variants in Louisiana? What should I do to protect myself and my family?

Yes, we should all be concerned about any variation of the COVID-19 virus. You can act on your concern by getting a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you can get an appointment. To find a vaccine provider, go to covidvaccine.la.gov or call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline for assistance scheduling your vaccine: 1-855-453-0774. You should also continue to wear your mask, practice good hand hygiene and avoid crowds.

Q: How do I volunteer to help with getting more people vaccinated and/or the “Bring Back Louisiana” initiative?

Go to covidvaccine.la.gov and click on “How Can I Volunteer” or go directly to the Louisiana Volunteers in Action website that is administered by the Louisiana Department of Health Office of Public Health: https://www.lava.dhh.louisiana.gov/

Q: Will I have to get the COVID-19 vaccine each year? How often will I have to get vaccinated to stay protected?

Per the CDC - we don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.

Q: I’m currently sick with COVID. Can I get the vaccine?

Per the CDC - No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation. People without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.

Q: Do I need to stay in my provider’s office after I get the vaccine?

Yes. Everyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccination will wait at the location of where they got the shot for 15 minutes. During this time, healthcare professionals are watching to make sure everything is OK. That’s because if something were to happen, it would happen quickly. Things that we are looking for are facial redness or flushing, an increased or rapid heartbeat or shortness of breath. Some people may be asked to wait for 30 minutes if they have allergies or have had an allergic reaction to a shot or to some

Q: Can the COVID-19 vaccines change my DNA?

No. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.

Q: How quickly will the COVID-19 vaccines end the pandemic?

According to the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the estimate is dependent on significant numbers of Americans being willing to and getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: Can everyone in my household get the vaccine at the same time?

Yes, everyone above the age of 16+ (Pfizer) or 18+ (Moderna and J&J) is now eligible in the state of Louisiana. When making an appointment, check with the vaccine location to make sure they have enough appointments for the entire household.

Q: Can I get any of my other vaccines at the same time as my COVID vaccine?

Given the lack of data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, the vaccine series should routinely be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration with any other vaccine. Example, wait 14 days after the flu vaccine to get a COVID vaccine.

Q: What are the ingredients in the vaccines?

Each of the three Covid-19 vaccines currently authorized for use in the US have slightly different sets of ingredients, but in general, they contain a delivery mechanism that triggers our body’s immune system to create antibodies to the virus, plus a blend of lipids (fats), salts, and sugars that help to stabilize and deliver the active ingredient. You can find a detailed listing of ingredients for each vaccine on the CDC website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html

None of the vaccines contain: eggs, preservatives, latex, fetal cell tissue or microchips.

Q: Can I choose which vaccine I get?

The recommendation is that you get the first vaccine which is available to you so that you can get the protection you need against the virus. For the most part, the Pfizer vaccine has been used at hospitals and associated facilities, Moderna has been provided to pharmacies and public health units, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available through Community Vaccine Events. However, this may not always be the case. If you want one specific vaccine, check with the providers to see which one they are offering when you’re making your appointment or check this website: https://vaccinefinder.org/search/

Q: How long after the first dose can a person wait before it’s too late to get the second dose?

The Moderna vaccine requires a second shot, or booster, 28 days after the first. The Pfizer vaccine requires the second dose after 21 days.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people should get their second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. And, in guidance published on March 19, 2021, the CDC said, “If the second dose is administered beyond the suggested interval, the series does not need to be restarted” although it “may be less effective” than completing the series on time.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: Where is the FEMA Vaccination site in Baton Rouge and how do I register?

Q: What is the current status of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?

On April 23, a CDC panel recommended that the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be lifted. The panel also recommended that a warning label be added to the vaccine packaging noting the very rare blood clotting disorder risk. Based on the panel’s recommendation, the FDA ended the pause; states and local jurisdictions can now resume use of the J&J vaccine.

Q: Has the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine resumed in Louisiana? Where can I get it?

Yes. Following the recommendation from CDC and FDA, the Louisiana Department of Health also announced it will resume use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. To find where to get a Johnson & Johnson vaccination, check this website: https://vaccinefinder.org/search/

Q: Should I be concerned about the safety of other vaccines?

The identification of what is approximately a less than 2-in-a-million risk associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a sign that the nation’s safety monitoring system for COVID vaccines is working. After any vaccine is successful in clinical trials and approved for use, the FDA continues to monitor it for safety. The pause in the use of the J&J vaccine allowed scientists to evaluate each incidence of the clotting disorder. They determined that the level of risk was very low and that the benefits of continued use of the J&J vaccine greatly outweighed any risk associated with it.

Q: What was learned during the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause?

The 10-day pause gave health officials time to review additional data to better understand the degree of risk associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine related to a blood clotting disorder. It also gave federal agencies and the medical community time to determine and share information on the most appropriate treatment response. The decision to lift the pause is based on the experts’ determination that the benefits of again administering the vaccine greatly outweigh the very small degree of risk associated with its use.

Q: Who is at risk for the blood clotting disorder associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

The likelihood of the blood clotting disorder resulting from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is extremely rare. The risk varies by age and gender. There have been fewer than 1 case per million for men and for women who are 50 years or older; the risk is estimated to be about 7 cases per million for women age 18 to 49. If you have questions about the J&J vaccine or other vaccines, talk to your doctor. You can also talk with a medical professional at the LDH Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774.

Q:If I got the Johnson & Johnson shot, am I at risk?

If you received the Johnson & Johnson shot and have not developed any of the side effects associated with the blood clotting disorder (severe headache or abdominal pain, shortness of breath, neurological symptoms, leg swelling) within three weeks of being vaccinated, the risk of an adverse reaction is unlikely. If you have questions or concerns, consult your doctor. You can also talk with a medical professional at the LDH Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774.

Q: If I’m offered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should I wait until I can get either Pfizer or Moderna?

For most people, getting the first available COVID vaccine is the best thing you can do to safeguard your health. Your odds of contracting a possibly life-threatening case of COVID-19 are much higher than your odds of serious side effects from the vaccine.

Q: Is it OK for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to be Pfizer if my first dose was Moderna? Or the reverse of this?

According to the CDC, every effort should be made to determine which vaccine product was received as the first dose to ensure completion of the vaccine series with the same product.

In exceptional situations – such as when the vaccine product given for the first dose cannot be determined or is no longer available – any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses to complete the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination series.

If you would like to discuss these concerns with a medical professional please call the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline 1-855-453-0774

Q: I have heard that some people are getting sick with COVID-19 after getting vaccinated. Is this possible?

 

Yes, this is possible since no vaccine is 100 percent effective. With almost 70 million people now fully vaccinated, there have been a few of these breakthrough cases. These cases represent a tiny percentage of those who have been fully vaccinated, and experts say they are neither unexpected nor occurring at an alarming rate. Indeed, the rarity of the breakthrough illnesses in the context of the vast scale of inoculations reinforces the encouraging message from public health experts: The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective.

Q: Is parental consent needed for a person under age 18 to get the COVID-19 Vaccine (Pfizer)? If so, can the consent be given by someone other than the parent?

Yes and yes. Parental consent for anyone under 18 years old is required. This can be done in person or via signed form found on this page: https://ldh.la.gov/covidvaccine/  If the minor child is accompanied by an adult who is not the parent, the form is still required and is valid.

Emancipated youths should check with the vaccine provider to determine what documentation (if any) is needed.    

Q: I installed the LA Wallet app on my phone. And, I have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for awhile now. Why is the app not showing that I am fully vaccinated?

For questions regarding the LA Wallet app and questions related to using LA Wallet to display your Covid-19 vaccination status on your phone, you can contact their helpdesk at 225-263-4488. You can also visit their support page for answers to frequently asked questions and further support options here: https://lawallet.com/support/.

TREATMENT

Q: I have heard that you can be treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies. How can I get more information?

Monoclonal antibodies, or MAbs, are man-made antibodies produced in a laboratory that can mimic the human immune system response to infection. MAbs may be used for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients who meet all of the following:

Patients with a positive COVID-19 viral test should speak with their healthcare provider to determine whether they are eligible for mAb treatment and to discuss potential benefits and side effects. A listing of Louisiana healthcare facilities that have received mAbs to date can be found here.

Q:  Is hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug, effective in treating COVID-19?

The answer is, we don’t know. There have been some anecdotal reports that the drug may be effective, and others reports that it is not. However, there have not been any tests done by the FDA to see two things:

Until these tests – known as clinical trials – are completed, most doctors are not prescribing this possible treatment.

Q. Is it safe to take ibuprofen to treat symptoms of COVID-19?

CDC is currently not aware of scientific evidence establishing a link between NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen) and worsening of COVID 19.

The World Health Organization, CDC and others continue to monitor the situation and will review new information as it becomes available. For those who wish to use treatment options other than NSAIDs, there are other over-the-counter and prescription medications approved for pain relief and fever reduction. Patients should speak to their healthcare provider for individualized management.

Q: Should I go to the ER?  Or, when should I go to the ER?

You should go to the ER if you are seriously ill (difficulty breathing, confusion, dehydrated). If you are sick with typical cold or flu symptoms, call your primary care doctor.

Q: What should I do if I am sick?

Call your doctor immediately if the following:

Q. Office of Public Health (OPH) recommends that you stay home and treat your symptoms as you would with the common cold if the following:

Q. What should I do if I am caring for someone who is sick?

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, are over the age of 60, or have an underlying medical condition like heart, lung, or kidney disease, and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.

If you are young, otherwise healthy, and have not been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or recently traveled to a country with a high rate of COVID-19, stay home and treat your symptoms as you would with a common cold.

Q:  What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Isolation and quarantine are both public health practices that are being utilized to limit the spread of COVID-19. While they are often used interchangeably, they have very different meanings.

Isolation is a strategy used to separate people who are sick with a contagious illness from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of people who are ill to help stop the spread of certain diseases. People in isolation may be cared for in their homes, in hospitals, or in designated healthcare facilities.
 
Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of people who may have been exposed to a contagious illness, but do not have symptoms to see if they become sick. These individuals may or may not be contagious.

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q: When can I end self-isolation?

People with COVID-19 symptoms may end self-isolation when:

People with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may end self-isolation when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test and have had no subsequent illness.

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

People with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have symptoms may end self-isolation under the following conditions:

People with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may discontinue self-isolation when at least 7 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had no subsequent illness.

Q: What are the recommendations for a person who has been in close contact with someone with the illness? For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q: Can masks be reused?

Throw out disposable face masks and gloves after using them. Do not reuse. Place all used disposable gloves, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands  immediately after handling these items.

SYMPTOMS

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. 

The following are the symptoms according to the CDC:

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q: How does COVID-19 compare to influenza in terms of symptoms, mortality rate, number of cases, etc.?

Based on what is known, COVID -19 is at least as severe, if not more serious than flu.   Much is unknown about COVID-19 about how easily it spreads, who most is at risk.

 

From preliminary studies, people who are most at-risk for a serious illness from COVID-19 are: People over age 60 who also have underlying medical conditions.

Q: Can you contract both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

It is possible to have both the coronavirus and the flu at the same time.

Q: Is vomiting a symptom of COVID-19?

A new study reports that some people who get the coronavirus will, in very rare instances, experience digestive symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. However, the primary symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Q: Is the loss of the ability to smell or pink eye symptoms of COVID-19?

The novel coronavirus and COVID-19 are new, and we are still learning about the virus. For these symptoms and others, always contact your primary care physician for guidance.

Q: What should I do if I have lost my sense of smell and taste?

For this and all other medical conditions, the Louisiana Department of Health recommends that you seek advice from your primary care physician.

Q: How long should a person stay isolated if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive COVID-19 test? If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive COVID-19 test, you should stay isolated until the following criteria are met:

If you have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 “close contact,” you should quarantine for 14 days from the day of exposure and monitor for symptoms. You must isolate for the full 14-days. Getting a COVID-19 test will not interrupt this quarantine period as it takes between 4 to 10 days for the virus to take hold in the body.

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

PREVENTION

Q: I have not had COVID symptoms. I will be traveling to visit family and I don’t want to expose them. What should I do?

Q:  Do I need to wear a mask when I leave the house?

As CDC studies the spread of the novel coronavirus, it is now known that a significant portion of people with coronavirus lack symptoms and can spread the virus to others. Wearing a mask significantly reduces spread of the disease from an infected person to others. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public. As of July 13, Governor Edwards mandated the use of masks or other face coverings statewide for all people age 8 and older. Masks are strongly recommended for children ages 2 to 7.

Q:  Is the Department of Health providing exemptions - a form or letter - to people who do not want to use a mask when going to the doctor’s office or other places that require a face covering?

No, there is no such form or letter from the Louisiana Department of Health. LDH encourages all people to follow the masking and social distancing requirements put in place by any place of business, including medical facilities.

Q: Do masks with valves offer the same protection as standard, cloth face coverings?

Actually, no. Valved masks prevent things from coming in, but don’t prevent things going out. Since we are trying to block the spread of water droplets out, masks with valves do not provide this protection.

Q: I have a mask with an exhalation valve. If I block the valve will my mask be as safe or safer than a cloth mask?

Yes. By blocking the valve, that mask is now is equivalent to a cloth mask

Q: If you wear a mask with a filter do you need to wear two masks?

The goal of the new CDC recommendation to consider wearing two masks is a strategy to better protect the person wearing the mask and others. CDC made two recommendations. One is to wear a cloth mask over a disposable surgical mask. The second is to improve the fit of a single surgical mask by tightening the ear loops to get a snugger fit. The goal is to decrease the chance of the virus escaping because of a loosely-fitting mask.

If you already wear a mask with a filter and want to achieve the added benefit, you should also wear a good-fitting surgical mask under your other mask.

Q: When is someone considered to have recovered?

A person is considered recovered when it has been:

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q: Is eating takeout or home-delivered food safe?

Yes. The USDA, CDC and FDA all say that there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through food, transmission from containers is unlikely. But, it’s a good idea to throw out the food containers to be sure, and wash your hands

 

Set the food containers on a clean countertop. Then, wash your hands. Next, get some containers of your own — dishes if you’re eating it now or Tupperware if you’re going to store it for a few days — and transfer the food with clean utensils.

Q: What if someone at my work, school, church has illness symptoms like fever or cough?

Contacts should monitor their health. They should call their healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. Testing is recommended, but will be based on availability.

 

Q: What if someone at my work, school, church has been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

Exposed persons should self-isolate at home. Contacts should monitor their health. They should call their healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. Testing is recommended, but will be based on availability.

Q: What if someone at my work, school, church has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

Exposed persons should self-isolate at home. Contacts should monitor their health. They should call their healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. Testing is recommended, but will be based on availability.

Q: Do I need to notify someone if someone I know at work, church, school has signs of illness, is suspected of having COVID-19, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

No, healthcare providers and laboratories have the responsibility to report to Public Health

Q: Will the State be contacting every COVID-19 suspected or confirmed case?

The State has started a contact tracing program where trained interviewers talk to people by phone who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. These public health workers ask questions to determine who else they may have recently been in close contact with (within 6 feet for 15 minutes over a 24 hour time period). They then contact those people who may have been exposed, and encourage them to quarantine themselves for 14 days to prevent spreading the disease any further.

Contacts are only informed they may have been exposed to the virus. They are not told the identity of the person who may have exposed them. This is done in the interest of personal privacy.

Q. How can I help protect myself and/or my family?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

There are simple everyday precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

Actions to help protect you and your family include:

Q: What is the best way to use a cloth mask?

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores, garden stores, pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

 

Cloth masks should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use. A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a cloth face covering.

 

To safely remove a used cloth face covering, people should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing.

Q: What is social distancing and how does it work?

Social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming into close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission.

Recommended distancing is 6 feet.

Social distancing slows the outbreak to reduce the chance of infection among high-risk populations and to reduce the burden on our health care system and workers.

If we do this right, we can reduce the number of people with disease and reduce the number of people needing hospitalization and ventilators at any one time.  

 Q:  What is social distancing (safe zone)?

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:

Q. Is there special guidance for people who are deaf or blind?

Q: Are we most concerned about older, high risk people, not young, healthy folks?

While those who are older and those who have underlying chronic medical conditions – meaning lung disease, heart disease and diabetes – are at the greatest risk, everyone, including people who are young and healthy, can be exposed to and spread COVID-19 to others.

Q. Should I cancel my travel plans?

If you have a trip planned, check the CDC’s site for a risk assessment of your destination.

If you travel, take the same precautions you would while home to avoid getting sick or spreading germs including washing your hands thoroughly and often and avoiding contact with sick people.

Q: I have not had COVID symptoms. I will be traveling out-of-state to visit   family and I don’t want to expose them. What should I do?

In all cases in which you interact or come in close contact with someone who is not a member of your immediate household, you should take the standard precaution of social distancing, mask wearing and practicing proper hand hygiene. And, do not visit others if you have symptoms or if you have been exposed to someone who is COVID-positive.

Q: Is it OK to use laundry facilities?

Yes. Just be sure to take basic precautions including:

Q: Is standard laundry detergent enough to disinfect clothing and prevent spread of the virus?

Yes. You can launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard the gloves after each use.

Q: I see people in my neighborhood out running, riding bikes and walking their dogs. Is that OK?

Yes, that's OK. Just be sure to maintain distance from other people. The CDC recommends a distance of about 6 feet. Even in communities where residents are being asked to stay home and "shelter in place," it's still fine to go for a run, hike or do other outdoor activities, as long as proper social distancing is observed. Wear a mask if you will be within 6 feet of others.

Q: Coronavirus is noted on Lysol bottles. Why is COVID-19 categorized as new if listed on old Lysol bottles? Should the public expect any new commercially available disinfectant products to address COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses, and they are not new.

There were six existing strains of coronavirus before 2019, some of which cause the common cold. The latest strain, however, is nCoV-2019 (COVID-19) which originated in 2019.

Lysol bottles are not referencing the latest COVID-19, but instead the coronaviruses that cause the common cold. There is no reason to believe, though, that Lysol is not effective for COVID-19, so please use it!

Q: How can someone report about crowds gathering / folks not obeying by the public gathering laws put out by the governor?

You don’t need to report others. Be sure to take your own precautions by washing your hands, covering your cough and limiting your exposure by avoiding crowds and gatherings of more than 50 people.

Q: For a halfway house, what precautions should be taken for/by new residents?

New and current residents should follow the Governor’s stay at home order which directs people to avoid going out in public unless it is absolutely necessary, such as getting groceries, food and medications.

Residents are encouraged to go outside and to stay active during this time, as long as they practice social distancing (at least 6 feet of physical space from other people) when they are around their neighbors and practice good hygiene by washing hands often and well with soap and water.

If a new resident has symptoms, they should not interact with other residents for 14 days and until they are symptom-free. Create a place in the home where that person can be isolated from others.

Q: What precautions should be taken to admit new residents to group homes?

Watch for symptoms. For confirmed infections, reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms (similar to the common cold) to people being severely ill or dying. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath/difficulty breathing. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

If a new resident has symptoms, they should not interact with other residents for 14 days and until they are symptom-free. Create a place in the home where that person can be isolated from others.

If a resident falls ill, make sure they contact their doctor immediately.

Q:  Should I wear gloves to protect myself from the coronavirus? Do they offer any added protection?

Although gloves do create a barrier between the virus and your hands, they are not recommended for general, everyday use. There are several reasons why gloves might make you less safe.

Wearing gloves might cause you to practice worse hand hygiene because you keep wearing the now-dirty gloves instead of washing your hands.

You are just as likely to touch your face with or without a glove.

Since most phones cannot be controlled with gloved fingers, you are likely to take the gloves off and on to use your phone. Doing this will then contaminate your hands when you remove the glove.

Q:  Why, then, are gloves used in healthcare settings?

Remember, gloves are a barrier between your hands and the virus. When healthcare workers use them, gloves are disposed of immediately after each use. Healthcare workers are taught how to remove gloves safely, dispose of them and wash their hands afterward.

The most important precaution taken by healthcare workers, and the practice we all should follow, is to practice good hand hygiene.

TRANSMISSION

Q. How does COVID-19 spread?

Health experts are still learning the details about how this new coronavirus spreads.

 

Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:

Q: Are people required to wear masks or face coverings?

Yes. As of July 13, Governor Edwards mandated the use of masks or other face coverings statewide for all people age 8 and older. Masks are strongly recommended for children ages 2 to 7. There is an exemption for any parish that has fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 residents (currently Grant, Red River and West Feliciana parishes). There are also exemptions for anyone who:

·         has a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering,

·         is consuming a drink or food,

·         is trying to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired,

·         is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience,

·         is temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes.

As CDC studies the spread of the novel coronavirus, it is now known that a significant portion of people with coronavirus lack symptoms and can spread the virus to others.

In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures - remaining at least six feet apart - are difficult to maintain - such as grocery stores and pharmacies - especially in areas where there is significant community transmission.

Q: Is it safe to go out with friends and other people (whom you do not live with) if you stay in small groups?

There is an increased risk of exposure and/or transmission of the virus when family members or friends who live in different locations or households get together. Examples include going out to dinner with your relatives. Or attending a child’s sporting event together.

If you decide to get together with friends and family outside your household remember, take precautions. Outdoor activities are less risky than indoor ones. Wear your mask, socially distance, and wash your hands before and after.

Q: Have there really been instances where people have gotten sick when going out in a small group?

Yes. Many recent outbreaks in Louisiana and around the country have been linked to small gatherings. These include school groups, church members, employees who work together, sports teams and other school-based extracurricular activities.

Small gatherings are less risky than large gatherings but that does not mean they are risk free. The more people you or others interact with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.

If you decide to get together with friends and family outside your household remember, take precautions. Outdoor activities are less risky than indoor ones. Wear your mask, socially distance, and wash your hands before and after.

Q: Are there any exemptions for medical conditions to the order to wear a mask when in public?

The directive by Gov. Edwards to wear a mask allows an exemption for those who have a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering. The order does not list specific medical conditions. However, there are no known medical conditions aside from a severe skin condition (such as very burn that requires treatment) that that would prevent a person from wearing a cloth face covering.

Also, if a person has a medical condition they believe prevents them from wearing a mask, that condition might also make them more susceptible to the serious consequences of COVID-19. They should therefore be very careful when going into public spaces.

As with prohibitions against smoking and proper attire requirements, employers and businesses can require the use of masks by their employees and their customers.

Q: What are the rules about wearing masks?

The governor's proclamation requires all citizens to wear a face covering, both indoors and out, but there are exceptions that allow citizens to not have to legally wear a face covering. Those exceptions include when an individual is able to maintain 6-foot distancing from others, when the individual has a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to wear a face covering, if the individual is a child younger than 8, if the individual is consuming food or drink, if the individual is communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, if the individual is providing identification, or if the individual is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience.

Q: Do I have to wear a mask when exercising?

If you are able to maintain 6-foot of distance from others, you are not legally required to wear the face covering while engaged in exercising. You are required to wear face coverings around your fitness center prior to choosing a piece of equipment to exercise with.

Q: Are face shields an acceptable alternative for a face mask?

No, they are not. The lower part of the face shield is completely open and allows the free flow of the water droplets that carry COVID-19. CDC does not recommend them as an acceptable substitute to a face mask which covers the mouth and nose.

Q:  If a person tested positive for COVID-19 can they be re-infected?

There is evidence to suggest that some people have contracted the virus a second time. This means that all people – even those who have already had the illness – should remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions.

Q: Can pets get COVID-19?

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is not considered a threat to dogs and cats, and pets do not play a role in transmission of the virus to people.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. It is rare for an animal to infect people and then spread between people such as with recent outbreaks of MERS and SARS.  

Q: Do mosquitoes carry COVID-19/Can the virus be transmitted through mosquitoes?

No. COVID-19 is not transmitted by mosquitoes.

Q. How long can the virus stay on leather/cloth surfaces?

Studies suggest that coronavirus can survive on metal for up to five days on glass for four to five days, and plastic for up to nine days, according to a recent study by the Journal of Hospital Infection. The same studies show coronavirus can survive up to 24 hours on cardboard.

 

It is not clear yet, but the virus may have a shorter lifespan on fabrics than on hard surfaces.

Q: Is it safe to receive a package from an area where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.

Q: How long can the virus live on food from restaurants?
The coronavirus can be spread in a public restaurant as it can be spread in any public space. If you’re about to eat, wash your hands. Wash your hands after using the restroom. If you’re concerned about the cleanliness of your table, ask the server to wipe it down for you.

Remember that COVID-19 is spread from person to person. If there is an infected person in that space then both person-to-person transmission can occur as well as transmission from a contaminated surface if someone touches it and then touches their face.

Q:  I am concerned because I’ve heard that workers at restaurants, food distribution sites and food processing plants have tested positive for COVID-19. Are the customers of these businesses at risk for getting the virus?

The short answer is no. Experts say the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person. This can occur when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks and droplets with the virus fly into the air from their nose or mouth. Anyone who is within 6 feet of that person can breathe those droplets into their lungs.

Another, but less common, way to catch the virus is when you touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on. You may touch a countertop or doorknob that's contaminated and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes. The virus can live on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for 2 to 3 days.

For this reason, we encourage people to clean and disinfect all counters, knobs, and other surfaces you and your family touch several times a day, and to wash your hands anytime you touch a surface or after picking up packages/meals from a site like a restaurant or distribution site.

Q: Should I wipe down things purchased from stores? How long can the virus live on hard surfaces?

Studies suggest that coronavirus can survive on metal for up to five days on glass for four to five days, and plastic for up to nine days, according to a recent study by the Journal of Hospital Infection. The same studies show coronavirus can survive up to 24 hours on cardboard.

 

It is not clear yet, but the virus may have a shorter lifespan on fabrics than on hard surfaces.

Q: What are the best items to use to clean surfaces and protect from COVID-19?

COVID-19 does not require any unique cleaning chemicals to disinfect surfaces. Soap and water works, and you can use an alcohol-based wipe. Baby wipes may not be effective.

Q: Am I at risk if I go to a funeral or visitation service for someone who died of COVID-19?

There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.

 

The Louisiana Department of Health has posted additional guidance about funerals and the proper handling of decedents who have had COVID-19 at www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus. Just click on Guidance & Resources.

Q: Where can I get information concerning the safety of the senior living  apartment where I live. One of the managers is sick and has tested positive for COVID-19.

All residential care facilities (nursing homes and assisted living facilities) follow strict guidance for the isolation of residents with COVID-19, staffing and testing requirements and reporting requirements. Apartments, including those that serve seniors, are not required to follow the same requirements.

Those who live in apartments should take the necessary personal precautions to protect themselves including staying at home as much as possible, practicing good hygiene, keep at least 6 feet apart from others and wear a mask when leaving your apartment. If you feel sick, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Q: Can a breastfeeding mother with COVID pass the virus to their baby?

The transmission of the COVID-19 virus through breast milk and breastfeeding has not been detected. While breastfeeding, a mother should still implement appropriate hygiene measures, including wearing a medical mask if available, to reduce the possibility of droplets with COVID-19 being spread to her infant.

HEALTH EFFECTS / COMPLICATIONS

Q. What are severe complications from this virus?

Severe complications include pneumonia in both lungs.

Q. Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?

Those who are most at risk are people over age 60 AND who have severe chronic medical conditions such as heart, lung, kidney disease or diabetes.

 

Other people who are not age 60, but who have these same medical conditions also face a higher risk than the general population.

Q. What about women who are pregnant?

Based on what we know now pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant women. Additionally, someone who is pregnant and has COVID-19 might be at increased risk for other adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth.

Social distancing should be practiced. This means visitors will need to be limited during labor and delivery. We are encouraging hospitals to prepare patients for this ahead of admission.

Q. What is the risk to children?

Although infections in children have been reported, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible to COVID-19 or at greater risk of a serious illness. However, COVID-19has been associated with multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). This is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. The cause of MIS-C is unknown but many children with this condition had the virus that causes COVID-19 or had been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Q: Are people diagnosed with HIV+ also at higher risk for contracting COVID-19?

People with compromised immune systems, including cancer patients and people with HIV/AIDS, are at a higher risk from the coronavirus.

Q. What precautions are nursing homes and assisted living facilities taking?

Nursing homes, assisted living centers and other similar healthcare facilities have the authority to restrict entry to people, including family members and friends of residents, during this health crisis.

 

People are advised to contact individual facilities for restrictions and recommendations that have been put in place at that location.

Q: How can a loved one be removed from a nursing home?

Talk to the administrator and Director of Nursing at the facility where your loved one lives.

Q: Does the state’s restricted visitors policy mean no visitors can enter a health care facility?

No. Health care facilities can allow visitors at their discretion, in consultation with families and responsible parties. This order also doesn’t apply to situations involving end-of-life care. However, no one who meets the definition of a “restricted person” can be allowed in a healthcare facility.

Q: What should I do if I am still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms after I have recovered and tested negative? Is this normal?

Recovery from COVID-19 is different for each person. For answers to your questions or your specific situation, you should contact your healthcare provider.

 

Workforce Related Questions

Q:  How do I apply for a contact tracing job?

Contact tracers must have graduated high school, feel comfortable having a telephone conversation with someone and also entering data. They must be compassionate, able to protect and honor patient privacy, and complete a very detailed training session. To apply, email ContactTracing@La.gov.

Q:  Do I need to wear a mask for work?

Employers are establishing guidance that is consistent with CDC recommendations and appropriate for their workplaces. Make sure you are aware of your employer’s requirements and follow them.

All employees of a business who have contact with the public must wear a mask.

Q: When can someone who had COVID-19 symptoms return to work?

This person can return to work when at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery meaning:

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q:  When can a person with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who had been caring for themselves at home return?

This person can return to work under the following conditions:

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q:  When can a person who had laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 but did not have any symptoms return to work?

This person can return to work when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had no subsequent illness.

Q. If a person has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 what should they do and when can they return to work?

Any person who has been exposed but who does not have symptoms should self-quarantine for 14 days. That person should also wait at least seven days before seeking a test. This is because its takes that much time between exposure and when a test result is positive. Taking a test too early will not show if you are positive for the virus.

The person who has an initial negative test should wait 14 days before returning to work to make sure they do not develop a COVID-19 infection.

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q:  Louisiana is allowing businesses to reopen, is there any guidance to help do so safely?

Yes, the State Fire Marshall has developed the Open Safely website. On this site, you can find guidance for the following businesses/activities: Outdoor Sports, General Businesses, Fitness Center/Health Clubs, Libraries, Movie Theaters, Museums/Zoos/Aquariums, Places of Worship, Restaurants and Salons/Barber Shops.

Also, CDC has developed a comprehensive list of questions and answers, guidance and support for businesses as they begin to plan how to safely reopen. See this website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.html  On the page is information about:

Q: How should employees communicate with other employees that they may have been exposed because of another employee without violating HIPPA?

Any person can self-report their own health status. However, people should refrain from discussing the health status of others. Medical professionals cannot discuss another person’s health status without being in violation of privacy laws.

 

Q: How long should an employer tell an employee to stay isolated if other employees in the workplace have COVID-19 symptoms?

There are different rules/laws for private and public employers. In state government, an employee may be placed on sick leave and be required to stay home if he/she has symptoms associated with COVID-19. In the private sector, the employee should follow the directive of their employer.

 

Q: What do I do if my employer demands I get tested for COVID-19 if I was sick?

There are different rules/laws for private and public employers. In state government, an employee may be placed on sick leave and be required to stay home if he/she is ill for any reason. In the private sector, the employee should follow the directive of their employer.

Q:  What is the guidance for restaurant employees?

Restaurants must follow these directives: Employees who are sick with a fever or respiratory symptoms should not go to work at the restaurant.

For all other employees:

Q: What is the guidance for medical employees that have been exposed to COVID-19?

 

If this employee is critical to the medical care, response to COVID-19, or assistance with daily living, they can continue to work but they need to wear a mask at work, and monitor their health with 2x daily temperature checks.  If they feel ill (fever >100.4 and/or respiratory symptoms), they need to immediately leave work and self-isolate. They need to call their healthcare provider to possibly be tested.

 

If this person is not part of the direct response to COVID-19, then they should go home, self-isolate, and monitor their symptoms, and call their healthcare provider to possibly be tested.

 

Q: What is the guidance for employees with suspect or confirmed COVID-19?

Please use the following updated symptom-based strategy to return to normal activity following a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19:

Continue isolation until:

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q: Can funeral services be held for someone who died of COVID-19?

A funeral or visitation service can be held for a person who has died of COVID-19. Funeral home workers should follow their routine infection prevention and control precautions when handling a decedent who died of COVID-19.

The Louisiana Department of Health has posted additional guidance about funerals and the proper handling of decedents who have had COVID-19 at www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus. Just click on Guidance & Resources.

Q:  How do I file for an unemployment claim?

Visit www.louisianaworks.net/hire or call the Claim Center at 1- 866-783-5567

Q: Will unemployment benefits and/or a stimulus check as a result of COVID-19 public health emergency be used in determining Louisiana Medicaid Long Term Care eligibility or continued eligibility?

No.  Louisiana Medicaid Long Term Care or waiver recipients who received an additional $600 weekly unemployment benefits and or a stimulus check under the CARES Act are exempt from this income being counted as a resource for 12 months after they receive it.

Q: If I work in a business that has been designated as “essential” and I have possibly been exposed to someone with COVID-19, should I still go to work?

Some businesses have been designated as essential per the Governor’s order and remain open. These include healthcare, emergency response and other businesses that provide vital infrastructure roles within communities. Employees of these businesses should contact their employer for guidance.  However, an individual is permitted to continue work following potential exposure, provided they do not have symptoms. In these instances, someone who has been exposed should self-monitor by taking their temperature before each work shift to ensure they remain fever-free before starting work.

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q: What is the updated guidance to private early learning centers?

The Louisiana Dept. of Education provides COVID-19 FAQs for EArly Childhood Providers at this link: COVID-19 FAQ for Early Childhood Providers

Given the risk for transmission of the virus causing COVID-19 in group or congregate settings, centers must follow the below guidance in order to remain in operation:

Q: Is it a responsibility of employers to report positive test results of employees to LDH?

No. Test results do not need to be reported to LDH by employers.

Q:  When can I return to work?

Individual businesses are now making decisions about when and how their workforce can return. Check with your employer for specific guidance about your job. The Louisiana Department of Health has developed guidance for employers and employees of essential businesses about safely returning to work. The guidance is on www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus. Click on Guidance & Resources.

Q: I am an office worker but my company is near the top of a high-rise building. What about the risk of riding in elevators, or simply pushing the buttons?

CDC guidance is to limit use and occupancy of elevators to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. Elevator buttons, like doors, doorknobs, faucets, and water fountains, must be cleaned frequently.

Q: The only way I can get to work is on public transportation and that doesn’t feel particularly safe to me right now. Can that be grounds for continuing to work at home?

Hard to say. Generally, the workplace is your employer’s responsibility; how you get there is yours. If you use public transportation, the CDC advises you to:

   Practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Wash your hands before and right after your ride, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow.

   Practice social distancing. During travel, try to keep at least 6 feet from people who are not in your household.

   Wear cloth face coverings when physical distancing is difficult.

Q: What does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say about reopening workplaces?

The CDC has its own guidelines for employers: Stop handshaking; facilitate hand washing at the door and send emails to employees at regular intervals reminding them to wash their hands; remind employees to avoid touching their faces and to cover coughs and sneezes; disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly.

The full guidance can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/office-buildings.html

Q: Are there any other recommendations for employees and employers?

Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible; when not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces; consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings; and assess the risks of business travel. Employers should also ensure strict hygiene in cafeterias. Other recommendations include adding space betWhat can a business do if an employee is refusing to return to work?

Individual businesses are now making decisions about when and how their workforce can return. Check with your employer for specific guidance about your job. Employees follow the directives of their employer. In a situation in which an employee is refusing to return to work, the employer can make a report to the Louisiana Workforce Commission using the online form found at: https://www2.laworks.net/CARESact/UI_ROW_Create.asp?fbclid=IwAR2jzevs2ao-_aSoXiHvECs8As3wyBLU7wh801wLob1VkBTQI1RVDo2EODQ

Employees should not share phones, desks, offices, work tools, or equipment, when possible.

Q: Where I work, an employee's spouse tested positive for COVID-19. Is there a quarantine period for that employee before they can return to work?

The Department of Health advises people who have been a close contact within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time of a known case, to self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.

If some is a contact of a contact, that person should monitor themselves for symptoms.

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q: What can a business do if an employee is refusing to return to work?

Individual businesses are now making decisions about when and how their workforce can return. Check with your employer for specific guidance about your job. Employees follow the directives of their employer. In a situation in which an employee is refusing to return to work, the employer can make a report to the Louisiana Workforce Commission using the online form found at: https://www2.laworks.net/CARESact/UI_ROW_Create.asp?fbclid=IwAR2jzevs2ao-_aSoXiHvECs8As3wyBLU7wh801wLob1VkBTQI1RVDo2EODQ

Q: For businesses, are employees required to wear masks? Are there exemptions for employees with medical conditions?

Employees should follow the guidance issued by their employer. If an employee has a concern, that should be a discussion between the employee and employer.

Q: I want to file a complaint about a sick employee continuing to report to work.

Direct them to call 225-354-3555.

Q: I have an employee who tested positive. Do I need to notify customers or clients?

If the employee with the positive test had close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes over a 24 hour time period) with any customers or clients, those individuals will be contacted by a contact tracer with the Louisiana Department of Health. The contact tracer will ask questions about employee’s health status, where they have traveled, who else they have been in contact with during the time the person was contagious. The contact tracer will then notify any close contacts that they have been exposed to the virus.

The positive employee may also call the contact tracers if they have not yet received a call at 1-877-766-2130. Employers should also proactively follow recommendations to make sure any ill employees stay home and close contacts of an employee who is positive for COVID-19 quarantine at home for 14 days.

Q: Will my business be contacted by the Department of Health if one of my employees tests positive?

Not necessarily. The Louisiana Department of Health’s contact tracers will only contact the individual who tested positive and that person’s close contacts (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time period). If a place of business has two more positive employees, public health may follow-up to provide prevention recommendations. Each business can implement their own reporting requirements for their employees. Typical requirements include notification of the employer by the employee if that person tested positive for COVID-19 or if that person was exposed to someone with COVID-19. Employers should also proactively follow recommendations to make sure any ill employees stay home and close contacts of an employee who is positive for COVID-19 quarantine at home for 14 days.

Q: Are employers required to notify employees if one employee tested positive for COVID-19?

No, there is no law or CDC guidance that requires an employer to notify others that someone else has tested positive for the virus. Each business can implement their own reporting requirements for their employees. Typical requirements include notification of the employer by the employee if that person tested positive for COVID-19 or if that person was exposed to someone with COVID-19. Employers should also proactively follow recommendations to make sure any ill employees stay home and close contacts of an employee who is positive for COVID-19 quarantine at home for 14 days. The Louisiana Department of Health’s contact tracers will only contact an individual who tested positive and that person’s close contacts (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time period), which may include co-workers. If a place of business has two more positive employees, public health may follow-up to provide prevention recommendations.

SCHOOLS and CHILDREN

Q. What is the risk to children?

Although infections in children have been reported, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible to COVID-19 or at greater risk of a serious illness. However, COVID-19has been associated with multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). This is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. The cause of MIS-C is unknown but many children with this condition had the virus that causes COVID-19 or had been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Q: When will schools reopen?

Information about when and how schools will reopen, as well as virtual learning options, continue to evolve as the extent of the pandemic in Louisiana changes.

State Level Information: For the most up-to-date information about schools and education-specific questions at the state level, the Department of Education has established a special email address: LDOECOVID19Support@la.gov

Local School Districts: We encourage you to contact your child’s school or school district for the most up-to-date local information.

Q: What about daycares and preschools?

Daycares and early learning centers run by private entities can remain open unless otherwise informed as the situation progresses. However, daycare programs should encourage children who can stay home to do so, children and staff should wash their hands frequently and they should limit child grouping.

Q: If a student or staff develops symptoms* or tests positive, what does the individual need to do?

Faculty and/or students can return to the classroom when:

Q: What should a student or staff do if they have been exposed (in close contact to a confirmed case or a person with symptoms) to COVID-19?

An individual with a known exposure should quarantine at home for 14 days past their last exposure to the case.

A close contact is any individual who has been within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time period during their infectious period, which includes the 48 hours before the day the person became sick (or the 48 hours before specimen collection if asymptomatic) until the person was isolated.

Q: When may a student or teacher who was exposed and on quarantine return to school?

These individuals should stay at home for 14 days from the last date of exposure. If they become symptomatic, they would be considered a case and need to follow end of isolation criteria to return to school.

Q: Are students or staff required to wear a mask or other face coverings?

An Executive Order by Gov. Edwards requires the use of face covering/mask in public settings. And, public health officials recommend that face coverings should be worn in a school setting by staff and students in third grade or higher (and children over the age of two may also wear face coverings) as they prevent transmission of COVID.

Q: Do children need to wear masks when carpooling to school in a private vehicle?

If kids are from separate households, they should wear a mask when carpooling. If they are from the same household, they do not need to.

Q: What social distancing arrangements should be made in schools and classrooms?

In order to minimize exposure risk in the classroom, health officials recommend all students be assigned seats and be discouraged from changing seats over time. Teachers should try to maintain 6 feet or greater distance from their students during class and minimize the amount of time spent closer than 6 feet to any pupil.

Q: My child came in contact with someone who is considered a close contact of a person who was exposed to COVID-19. Does my child need to stay home? If so, for how long?

Contacts of a person who was a close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time period)of another person who was exposed (the primary contact) does not  stay home unless the primary contact becomes positive or symptomatic.

Q: What should teachers and/or students do if another student in the classroom notifies the school they have symptoms and are staying home?

Student and teachers should stay home for14 days from the last date of exposure to the student who reported they have COVID-19 symptoms.

As a courtesy, the school may decide to alert others that there has been a positive case in a classroom or school. When doing this, the school should be clear that this information is for awareness only and that others do not need to stay home,

Q: How many students can we allow to be positive or be required to stay at home before the entire school is shifted to virtual learning?

To prevent needing to move an entire class to virtual learning, seats in the classroom should be assigned and maintained to limit the number of students who would potentially be exposed to a case in the class and need to quarantine.

If two or more people test positive or have COVID symptoms within 14 days of each other, the entire class should move to virtual learning until 14 days past the last day a symptomatic person was in class.

The school may decide to move an entire school to virtual learning if the number of staff how are staying at home hinders the operation of in-person learning. Schools are asked to call the local Office of Public Health cases-by-case guidance.

Q: Will schools require a negative test before a student or employee who has been exposed or is positive to be allowed to return?

No, testing to determine end of isolation is no longer recommended except for people who are severely immunocompromised in consultation with their physician.

Q: If a student who uses a bus to get to school tests positive, who else should stay home?

Anyone riding the same bus who was within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time period starting 2 days before symptoms developed, or 2 days before specimen collection if asymptomatic, should also stay home for 14 days from their last exposure to the positive individual.

If it cannot be determined who was a close to the person who tested positive, all riders on the bus should stay home from school for 14 days.

Q: If a student on a bus tests positive, should the bus driver also stay home for 14 days?

If the bus driver was within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time period starting 2 days before symptoms developed, or 2 days before specimen collection if asymptomatic,  the driver would need to stay home

Q: If a student tests positive who has been practicing on a sports team outdoors and everyone has been more than 6 feet apart at all times, does the team need to quarantine?

In this situation, nobody needs to quarantine if they were more than 6 feet apart at all times. If anyone was within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time period  or any other type of close contact, they would need to quarantine for 14 days from the last exposure.

Q: Does getting routine childhood vaccines make children more susceptible to COVID-19?

Childhood vaccines are the best protection against illnesses. Studies have never found a connection between a vaccine for one disease increasing the likelihood for getting another illness.

Q: When looking at close contact, if students are sitting at a table with masks and there are also Plexiglas dividers should districts still consider only the main two indicators of close contact which are: was the student within 6 feet and was it more than 15 minutes?

The Plexiglas would serve as an extra layer of protection.  However, if students are within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time period , even if they are separated by a Plexiglas barrier they will be considered a “close contact” in the case of a positive COVID test in the classroom. As always, it was recommended that each situation be discussed with local and health officials as each situation has unique details.

Q: What should families do who share custody?

Families are free to allow their children to visit/stay with their caretakers. Simply follow social distancing and hygiene recommendations.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, or MIS-C

Q:  What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, or MIS-C?

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.

We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.

Q:  Are there any cases of MIS-C in Louisiana?

Yes, on May 27, the Louisiana Department of Health reported 13 cases including one death from MIS-C in Louisiana. The patients range in age from 0-19 years of age. The Department will update information on MIS-C each Monday on its coronavirus webpage.

Q:  What are the symptoms of MIS-C?

Not all children will have all of the same symptoms. Seek emergency care right away if your child is showing any of these emergency warning signs of MIS-C.

Seek emergency care right away if your child is showing any of these emergency warning signs of MIS-C or other concerning signs:

Q:  Where can I get more information about MIS-C?

The CDC has added information about MIS-C to its coronavirus website at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children/mis-c.html:

The CDC has a team that is working with U.S. and international scientists, healthcare providers, and other partners to learn more about this new syndrome. As CDC investigates each new MIS-C case,  information is sent to healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AND WHO ARE AGING

Q:  I have a disability and can’t leave my home. How do I get tested?

The Department of Health has an online link to testing sites at www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus. Click on the testing site tab to find a nearby location.

 

If you have Medicaid, your managed care organization can arrange transportation to a test site. If you do not have Medicaid, check with your primary care provider for an order for a home health agency to come out and take the swab for testing.

 

You can also call 225-342-0095 Monday through Friday 8:00-4:30 to talk with someone directly, or leave a message outside business hours.

 

Q:  I receive disability services through the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) and I have questions regarding changes to those services during the COVID-19 emergency. Who do I contact regarding this?

 

Email OCDD-HCBS@la.gov, and someone will respond to your question.

 

Call OCDD 225-342-0095 Monday through Friday 8:00-4:30 to talk with someone directly, or leave a message outside business hours.

 

Q:  I provide disability services through the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD), and I have questions regarding the changes in services during the COVID-19 emergency.  Who should I contact with these questions?

 

Email OCDD-HCBS@la.gov, and someone will respond to your question.

 

Call OCDD Monday through Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm to speak with someone, or leave a message outside business hours.

 

Q: I have questions about the services I receive through the state’s Office of Aging. Who do I call or contact for information?

People who have questions can call or email the Office of Aging and Adult Services at:

Phone: 1-866-758-5035

Email:: OAAS.Inquiries@la.gov

 Q:  Are direct service workers who work with people with disabilities considered essential and allowed to work during the stay at home order?

Yes, direct service workers are considered essential and are allowed to travel to and from the home of the person they serve. The Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities has put out guidance, as well as a letter authorizing travel during the COVID-19 emergency.

 

Q:  Are all Adult Day Cares/Home and Community Based centers required to follow the Governor’s order to remain closed?

 

All Adult Day Care (ADC), Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) and Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) centers were closed effective March 23, 2020 at 5 PM and they have remained closed.

Providers will be informed when they are allowed to reopen and will receive guidance on precautions, limitations, and requirements related to reopening.

Q:  I run a community home for people with developmental disabilities. We have a resident who has been hospitalized for COVID-19 and is now being sent home.  We do not have the facilities for the resident to have a private room or bathroom. How do we provide care during the resident’s 14 day quarantine?

The Louisiana Department of Health has issued guidance about the release of patients into nursing facilities, and has also issued guidance about safely supporting someone in quarantine. Go to LDH’s COVID-19 website and click “Provider Information,” and the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities COVID-19 Information page for additional guidance.

 Q: My agency provides in-home support to people with developmental disabilities. It is not possible to remain 6 feet away from clients while assisting them. A person that my agency provides support to has tested positive for COVID, and they have returned home. How can my staff and the people we support remain safe in this situation?

OCDD has issued guidance about how to stay safe during quarantine. This information has been placed on the website under COVID-19 Information. Additionally, LDH has a Provider Information page to give guidance to providers regarding safety measures to put in place while providing in-home support.

Q: Are assisted living residents allowed to come and go off premises as they please?

The CDC has developed extensive guidance for nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term care facilities. These include recommendations about if and when a resident should leave the facility, limits on visitation, restricting volunteers and non-essential healthcare personnel, canceling all group activities and communal dining. To protect their residents, all long-term care facilities in Louisiana have implemented these recommendations.

Nursing Home Visitation (during the COVID 19)

On September 17, 2020, U.S Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidelines on nursing home visitation, which can be found here.  On September 18, 2020, Louisiana’s State Health Officer issued an emergency order stating that facilities are mandated and directed to follow the guidance set out in the published September 17, 2020 guidelines.  The order can be found here.

TESTING

Q: Is funding available to nursing homes to perform COVID 19 testing?

HHS has made some funding available through the CARES Act.  More information can be found at https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/08/07/hhs-announces-allocations-of-cares-act-provider-relief-fund-for-nursing-homes.html 

Q: If nursing facilities choose to test visitors for COVID 19, how do we report results?

Results can be reported to ELR@la.gov.  In addition, if is important to note that all tests done on staff, residents and visitors are required to be reported.

Q: Are the Louisiana testing requirements for staff and residents now moot since the state is in Phase 3?

The previous guidance on testing of staff and residents remains in effect.  CMS recommends testing visitors, but does not require it.

Q: Do Nursing Home Ombudsman have to be tested?

Current CMS guidance speaks only to mandatory testing for staff (including volunteer and contract) and residents.  CMS recommends testing visitors, but does not require it.  In addition, the most recent CMS guidance regarding visitation states that a nursing facility can only restrict in person visitation if there is reasonable cause.

Q: Have the requirements for how often staff and residents are tested changed?

Louisiana strongly recommends testing staff a minimum of once per week, and testing residents once per week unless there have been no positive tests for 14 days.

VISITATION

Q: Is a nursing facility required to have no positive COVID 19 tests for 14 days before allowing for outdoor visitation?

According to CMS guidance, a recommendation of 14 days without a positive test is for indoor visitation only.  If there is an outbreak at the facility, we would expect that your visitation policies and procedures would include all necessary infection control practices.   CMS guidance does acknowledge that outdoor visitation is safer than indoor visitation.  It is expected that each facility will give due diligence to limiting exposure of the virus.

Q: Is it accurate that if a nursing facility has gone 14 days with no resident testing positive for COVID 19, you can have indoor visitation with making, social distancing and other proper infection control procedures in place?

Louisiana expects all nursing facilities to follow the most recent CMS guidance regarding visitation.  CMS clearly states in the guidance that outdoor visitation is safer than indoor visitation.

Q: Can nursing facilities limit the number of visitors, times of visitation and duration of visits?

Louisiana expects all nursing facilities to follow the most recent CMS guidance (referenced above) regarding visitation.  Health Standards will review visitation policies and procedures to assure compliance with the CMS guidance and will expect that the policies protect the health of the residents.  Knowing who visitors are and when they were in a facility will prove to be useful information should tracing be necessary.

Q: Will nursing facility visitation be allowed in all parishes or will approval of visitation be tied to parish positivity rate?

The most recent CMS guidance suggests the use of community positivity rate when determining rather or not indoor visitation is safe and appropriate.  There is no mention of the use of positivity rates for implementation of outdoor visitation.

Q: Can children be allowed as visitors to nursing facilities?

The CMS guidance does not provide any concrete recommendations regarding children.  Louisiana would expect that the nursing facilities visitation policies and procedure would provide for the age of allowed visitors.

Q: Can nursing facilities all visitation for new residents are in quarantine?

A person newly admitted to the facility can pose a risk to others in the facility and to visitors unless it is known that the person is COVID 19 negative.  Although the HHS guidance does not address this specifically, Louisiana expects each facility to practice prudent infection control at all times.

Q: If there is a COVID 19 outbreak in a facility, can the nursing facility stop all visitation?

Yes, if the nursing facility believes that residents could be placed in an unsafe situation, the nursing facility should act accordingly.  Prudent Infection control is expected of each nursing facility, and the safety of residents is paramount.

GENERAL

Q: Are nursing facilities expected to adhere fully to the HHS guidance, including allowing for communal dining and other activities outlined on page 6 or the September 17, 2020 guidance?

Louisiana expects that all nursing facilities will follow the guidance set forth by HHS.  However, Louisiana will expect that prudent infection control will be consistently practiced.

CONTRACT TRACING

Q:  What is contact tracing? Is this being done in Louisiana?

Contact tracing is underway in Louisiana. It is a type of disease investigation. Trained interviewers talk to people who have been diagnosed with the virus and ask questions to determine who else they may have recently been in contact with. Then, they find those people who may have been exposed, and encourage them to quarantine themselves to prevent spreading the disease any further.

For more information, go to: http://ldh.la.gov/ContactTracing.

Q: How do employers know the validity of letters/emails sent by a contact tracer to a person who has been told to quarantine because of exposure to COVID-19?

When a contact tracer notifies a person they have been exposed, they can request to receive an email from the contact tracer with a letter the person can provide to their employer. The letter will be on the official State of Louisiana letterhead.

Q: Will a contact tracer initiate contact with an individual by email or mail?

No, all contacts by contact tracers are initiated by text message from the number 225-396-5385 or by phone call from the number 1-877-766-2130.

 However, after this phone contact has been made, the person who has been exposed may require proof of the exposure for their employer. The contact can request a letter that they can give to their employer verifying they have been told to self-quarantine.

 In addition, if a person is not successfully reached by phone, a letter may be sent to the individual by public health asking them to call.

Q: I received an email or mailed letter regarding contact tracing but no one has called me.  Why did this happen?

If an individual receives a letter from the Louisiana Department of Health, they should call the number back that was provided in the letter, which would be 1-877-766-2130 or a local Office of Public Health phone number.

 Please provide guidance on how you want 211 to handle calls where a caller is inquiring about another person’s mail or email.

Same as above, if an individual receives a letter from the Louisiana Department of Health, they should call the number back that was provided in the letter, which would be 1-877-766-2130 or a local Office of Public Health phone number.

Q:  How do I apply for a contact tracing job?

LDH has partnered with four local call centers and one local community-based organization to hire for positions related to contact tracing. To learn more about these available positions and upload your resume, please visit the employment portal at covidjobs.la.gov. Applications are being reviewed as quickly as possible according to the hiring needs of the call centers. All hiring and HR decisions will be made by the call centers and community-based organizations that are supporting the project.

Q:  How does contact tracing work?

A contact tracer is a public health worker who attempts to identify all people who were exposed to someone with COVID-19. This is how it works:

Q:  Who is considered to be a close contact?

A close contact is a person who was within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour time period starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the infected patient is isolated.

Q: I tested positive but have not received a call from the contact tracer, what should I do?

Anyone who has recently tested positive but has not received a call from the contact tracing team can call 1-877-766-2130 to receive guidance and identify others who might have been exposed so that they can be notified of their exposure and prevent the illness from spreading.

Q:  I received a call or message from a contact tracer. Why do they want to talk to me?

 The Louisiana Department of Health has a team of contract tracers who call anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 and anyone who might have been in close contact with someone known to have tested positive. If someone you know or have been in close contact with has tested positive, the contact tracing team will call you to see how you are feeling, if you are having any symptoms, offer support for getting tested, and provide information on how to self-quarantine.

Q:  What is a COVID-19 hotspot?

A hotspot is an area of the state in which there is a high number ofCOVID-19 cases. These are determined by looking at the percent of positive tests in a given area. Areas with more than 10% positive tests out of total tests are considered hot spots.

Q:  What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick to prevent transmission to others. Quarantine separates and limits the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick, and prevent transmission to others.

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q: How do I know if the contact tracer is from the Louisiana Department of Health and not a fraud or scammer trying to ask me personal questions?

The official Louisiana contact tracers will identify themselves as being from the Louisiana Department of Health. The caller ID on the phone should show “LA Health Dept.” They will never ask you about your finances or other personal information. They will never ask you to buy any gift cards, or ask your banking information or social security number. If someone asks you any of these questions, hang up right away and do not give this information.

Q:  Will a contact tracer initiate contact with an individual by email or mail?

No, all contacts by tracer are initiated by phone using the number 1-877-766-2130.

However, after this phone contact has been made, the person who has been exposed may require proof of the exposure for their employer. The contact can request a letter that they can give to their employer verifying they have been told to self-quarantine.

Q:  I received an email or mailed letter regarding contact tracing but no one has called me.  Why did this happen?

You should not get a letter or an email before having spoken with a contact tracer. If this occurred, you should call the contact tracing team at 1-877-766-2130. There should not be an instance where a letter or email is received without having first spoken with a contact tracer.

Q:  My doctor has not contacted me about my test results but I got a call from someone wanting to know about my whereabouts. Do I have to talk to them before I receive my results?  Do I have to talk to them at all?

Sometimes the health department will get positive test results from a lab and call that person before their doctor gets a chance to call them with the results. The health department tries to call people as soon possible in order to share information about how to keep the illness from spreading to others. You can always ask the contact tracer to call you back after you’ve had a chance to call your doctor. You will not be required to speak to the health department about your results. However, we strongly encourage you to speak with the Louisiana Department of Health, because this is an important way to help keep yourself and others safe and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Q:  Will the information I share with the contact tracer be kept confidential?

Yes. The health department contacts people who test positive and their close contacts. The health department will not tell the contacts who tested positive or where they may have been when exposed, they will only share the date they were exposed. All information is kept private.

Q:  If I don’t get contacted by a contact tracer, is that a sign that I have NOT come in contact with anyone who tested positive for Covid-19?

Unfortunately, no. You may have come in contact with someone who has tested positive, but they did not realize they were in close contact with you or they forgot to tell the contact tracing team. You may also have come in contact with someone who had a COVID-19 infection, but did not get tested. If you believe you may have been exposed in some way, take reasonable precautions to self-quarantine and call your primary care provider.

Q: I was recently contacted by someone claiming to be a contact tracer employed by the Louisiana Department of Health. I was asked for my financial information, information about my health coverage and other personal information. Is this legitimate?

Contact tracers employed by LDH will only ask you for your first and last name and your date of birth to confirm that you are the person they intended to call. They will not ask for any financial information, social security numbers  or health insurance information. If someone claiming to be employed by LDH does ask for that, immediately hang up and call 877-766-2130 to be connected with LDH’s contact tracers.

Q: I don’t believe that the person calling me is someone employed by the Louisiana Department of Health. What should I do?

If you have any suspicions about the identity of the person you are speaking to, immediately hang up and call 877-766-2130 to be connected with LDH’s contact tracers.

COVID-19 in Louisiana

Q. How many confirmed cases and deaths have there been in Louisiana?

Check the Louisiana Department of Health's website for the most up-to-date information: www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus. The website is updated daily, at 12 noon.

Q: How are the number of active COVID-19 cases determined?

Because of several factors and variables, including when a case is identified, when that person becomes symptom-free and because we only know of cases reported to the State, there is not a simple way to determine the number of active cases in a region or statewide at any given time. For these reasons, the Department of Health does not calculate an accurate number for active cases.

Q: Where can people get more information about what the State of Louisiana is doing in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak?

The Governor’s office is constantly updating its website at gov.louisiana.gov, as is the Louisiana Department of Health at ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus. You can also call 211 for general information about COVID-19 and to get connected to help and resources

Q: On it’s website, the State calculates cases as “Presumed Recovered.” How     is that determined?

Presumed recovered counts are updated weekly on the coronavirus website. A person is presumed recovered if:

Q: Are "Probable Deaths" included in the "Deaths Reported" total?

No. On the LDH coronavirus dashboard, the numbers listed for deaths are confirmed COVID-19 related deaths. The probable death number is not included and reported separately on the dashboard.

Q: Does "Probable Deaths" represent the total number of deaths awaiting a lab positive result at any given time? Or, is each "Probable Deaths" report in addition to the last report?

The number of probable deaths can change on any day if a death is confirmed as COVID-19 with a positive test, or if a negative test result is received then the death would no longer be considered a probable death.

Q: Have we hit our peak of the outbreak?

We are still seeing increases in total cases and hospitalizations. The virus is spreading because it has not gone away making continued social distancing important. As businesses reopen and as we begin to gather more in public, it is even more important today to avoid crowds, wear a mask while in public and

Q.Why are we seeing these increases in cases and hospitalizations?

The majority of these new cases, 90 percent, are coming from community spread, meaning from people who are going out in public. Gov. Edwards said too many people are refusing to wear masks in public and are not careful about social distancing. He is asking all Louisianans to be good neighbors, to stay at home when they are experiencing symptoms, to avoid crowds, to stay away from others and to wear a mask when not around their immediate household whether inside or outside. stay at least 6 feet away from others when you do go out.  

Q: How can business access help with their COVID-19 business-related questions?

As of March 27,  Gov. John Bel Edwards and Secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development announced the opening of an LED help desk that provides email and hotline support for Louisiana businesses impacted by COVID-19.

For COVID-19 business questions, LED may be reached at LEDbiz@la.gov or via the toll-free hotline, (833) 457-0531. The COVID-19 hotline is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Be aware that high call volumes might result in delays. Callers are encouraged to keep trying, leave a voice mail or contact LED via email.

For Louisiana businesses seeking federal financial assistance, they are encouraged first to contact the U.S. Small Business Administration at SBA.gov/Disaster to apply for COVID-19 disaster aid. The SBA Customer Service Center may be reached at (800) 659-2955, with an additional TTY line for the hearing-impaired at (800) 877-8339.

Q: How can I access assistance from the economic relief package?

As the State receives guidance, that information will be provided to the public from the Governor and other state officials. The current guidance … if you have lost your job because of the coronavirus outbreak, you can fill a claim online with the Louisiana Workforce Commission at www.laworks.net.

Q: Of the people who have tested positive so far in Louisiana, how many have needed hospitalization? 

The most up-to-date information about cases, deaths, hospitalizations and other data can be found at the  Department of Health’s COVID-19 website: www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus

Q: When will the information about the number of patients who have recovered be released to the public?

This information is now available on the  Department of Health’s COVID-19 website: www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus

Q: For the LDH coronavirus dashboard, Is the Department collecting data by race for people counted in Cases, Persons Tested, Deaths and Persons Under Investigation?

For routine lab tests, both for the State and by commercial laboratories, race is not a collected field. Therefore, the State will not have this data from routine lab testing.

 

However, for more serious cases (such as deaths), as the pandemic progresses and we have reliable numbers, the State is planning to release these statistics.

Q: The number of cases reported in cities and regions appears to change. Why?

The Louisiana Department of Health is working to ensure the accurate reporting of case counts. In some instances, cases that may have been assigned to a certain Parish are later changed based on new information and ongoing investigations by our epidemiologists.

Q: If someone has multiple tests – some are positive and some negative – are all those tests being counted as positive cases or are they looking at the names for duplicates?  

To determine the number of actual people with a positive test, duplicate records are removed. In the situation described, it would be counted as one case but with multiple positive results.

Q: What is the LDH guidance for medical providers to request PPEs?

A link to guidance can be found at the top of the LDH Coronavirus webpage.

Here is the link for medical providers:

http://ldh.la.gov/assets/oph/Coronavirus/resources/providers/PPEforweb.pdf

Q: I am a medical provider and a member(s) of our staff has tested positive for COVID-19.  What is the proper procedure for notifying our patients?

Providers should notify patients in such a situation that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus. However, they should not identify the staff member. They should also describe the steps they are taking to ensure a safe facility such as practicing social distancing, taking temperature checks of staff and looking for respiratory symptoms. When a staff member has tested positive, that person self-isolates until he/she meets the guidelines for returning to work.

Q: Where can hospitals discharge COVID-19 patients who still need inpatient care?

The State of Louisiana is working to identify and open appropriate alternate care settings as quickly as possible. This weekend, such a facility will open at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Termed a Medical Monitoring Station, this facility is for COVID-19 positive individuals transferred from hospitals who no longer need an acute care hospital bed, but are not well enough to be discharged to their homes or would be a danger to others in their household while still infectious.

Q: Is there a shortage of ventilators for hospitals?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken action to help increase the supply of ventilators, ventilator tubing connectors, and ventilator accessories, as well as filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) due to shortages during COVID-19. The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization that allows for the emergency use in health care settings of certain ventilators, anesthesia gas machines modified for use as ventilators, and positive pressure breathing devices modified for use as ventilators (collectively referred to as “ventilators”), ventilator tubing connectors, and ventilator accessories that meet FDA criteria for safety and performance.

Q: Are places like Wal-Mart and grocery stores going to stay open?

Yes, grocery stores can remain open to the public. When shopping for groceries or anything else, limit contact with groups of people, stay at least 6 feet from others and use a sanitizing wipe on your cart. Wash your hands as soon as you get home and avoid touching your face.

Q: What about childcare centers and preschools?

Daycares and early learning centers run by private entities can remain open unless otherwise informed as the situation progresses. However, daycare programs should encourage children who can stay home to do so, children and staff should wash their hands frequently and they should limit child grouping.

Q: Can children still get school meals?

Yes, according to the Governor’s order. It requires schools to use appropriate social distancing measures, and continue to provide meals or other essential services with applicable staff. You should contact your child’s school for specific instructions.

Q: How can I pick up meals from my child's school? Does the child need to be present for the parent to pick up the meal(s)

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) has published a parish-by-parish list of school meal sites to let families know where, when and how free food can be accessed.

The list is available on the Dept. Of Education’s website: www.louisianabelieves.com 

For the most up-to-date information about schools and how school meal sites logistics work, please contact your child’s school district.

Q: Can I apply for Disaster SNAP food benefits for this emergency?

At this time, there is no option for emergency/disaster SNAP.

However, if you are not already a SNAP recipient and have a food need, you can apply for benefits online. There’s no need to visit a DCFS office. You can apply online or by mail/fax. For more information, text GETSNAP (no spaces) to 898-211, visit the DCFS website at www.dcfs.la.gov/getSNAP, email LAHelpU.DCFS@la.gov or call 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578) Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Q: I’m quarantined and/or staying home as advised by officials. Do I have to go into an office to apply for SNAP?

No, you don’t have to visit a DCFS office to apply for SNAP.  You can apply online or by downloading a paper application and then mailing or faxing it to us. You can also request an application by contacting DCFS at LaHELPU.DCFS@la.gov or 1-888-LAHelpU (1-888-524-3578) toll free. For instructions on how to apply, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/getSNAP.  DCFS will continue to add information at www.dcfs.la.gov/getSNAP as the situation develops.  You can also text GETSNAP to 898211 for quick links and helpful info on SNAP.

Q: What is the current COVID-19 situation in Louisiana?

In June, data is showing a concerning rise in coronavirus case and hospitalizations. We are concerned because these new infections are because of community spread. To address, we are strongly advising people to use the proven strategies to prevent spreading the virus. These include avoiding crowds, wearing a mask while in public and staying at least 6 feet away from others when you do go out.

Q: Do immigrants have access to testing regardless of identification?

The testing criteria for COVID-19 do not require showing official government identification. Everyone, including documented and undocumented immigrants, who is experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, you should contact their primary care physician for guidance to see if they fit the clinical criteria for testing.

Q: What is the number of tests being for COVID-19 in Louisiana?  What percentage have been positive?

For the most up-to-date information about cases in Louisiana, please go to the COVID-19 website: www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus

Q. What are the appropriate swab kits to use for COVID19 testing?

Medical providers can use any available Viral Transport Media (VTM) or Universal Transport Media (UTM) available to them, making sure to follow instructions on the testing materials and ensuring the vial is completely closed and sealed.

Q: How does the process for testing in Louisiana for COVID-19 work?

Most if not all healthcare providers in Louisiana have access to testing resources. Contact your healthcare provider to inquire about testing.

Testing sites have been established throughout the state, and each have their own requirements. For the most up-to-date listing of these sites, visit: http://ldh.la.gov/coronavirus. Click on Community Testing Centers

Q: Is the Louisiana Department of Health concerned about shipping channels such as the Port of New Orleans being affected by COVID-19?

Department officials met with the Coast Guard to discuss potential issues with the COVID-19 virus once it became clearer that the virus was spreading globally. We don’t think there will be potential for spreading the virus through shipping channels.

Q: Will the State identify COVID-19 patients?

No. Because of patient privacy laws, the Louisiana Department of Health cannot provide any information that might identify patients. This includes name, residence of patient or any other potentially identifying patient information.

Q: Do hospitals have policies in place to keep inpatients who have been tested for COVID-19 and whose tests are pending from having visitors in their rooms?

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are restricting non-essential personnel from visiting people in their facilities. Patients under investigation (awaiting testing) should not have visitors, and healthcare personnel should be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

Q. What precautions are nursing homes and assisted living facilities taking?

All licensed healthcare facilities, including nursing homes, in the state are required to restrict visitors to those deemed essential, vital or necessary to the care and well-being of patients, clients and residents. This prohibition will be in place until it is lifted by the Louisiana Department of Health.

Nursing homes, assisted living centers and other similar healthcare facilities have the authority to restrict entry to people, including family members and friends of residents, during this health crisis.

Nursing homes and assisted living centers are also undergoing baseline and repeated testing of both residents and staff to reduce and try to eliminate COVID-19 in these settings.

Q: For the purposes of Covid-19 related restrictions of movement, are Assisted Living facilities classified as Nursing Homes? Will all Assisted Living facility residents all be tested for Covid-19 soon?

Because they congregate in nature, and typically serve an older population, assisted living facilities (ALFs) are at high risk of COVID-19 spreading and affecting their residents. They must follow the same guideline as nursing facilities.  These facilities are also included in the State’s COVID-19 testing program. Although the testing may be done differently in each region of the state, the goal is to recommend and provide testing to all residents and staff at these facilities. Retesting will also be conducted as needed.

Q: Is the State testing patients who are in jail?

Patients who are suspected to have COVID-19 and who reside in a correctional facility or in a long term care facility are appropriate for testing by the State lab.

Q: Is everyone who dies being tested for COVID-19?

The only decedents who should be tested for COVID-19 by a coroner are those people who die with respiratory symptoms that are suggestive of a COVID-19, AND who did not have a link to someone with a known COVID-19. There is no need to test those who die of a “COVID-19-like” illness if they have been associated with another case (we’ll consider this a COVID-19 death). In addition, there is no need to test for COVID-19 in a person who did not die of a severe respiratory illness suggestive of COVID-19.

Q:  What determines whether or not a fatality is attributed to COVID-19?

When a death is counted as a COVID-19 death it means there has been a positive test result. It does not necessarily mean it is the cause of death. The cause of death could be a combination of COVID-19 and underlying conditions/complications.

Q:  I have heard that blood donations are needed. What will the blood be used for and how can I help?

Blood centers are seeking plasma donations from people who have had COVID-19 and are fully recovered. Those who have recovered have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus in other people.

Known as convalescent plasma, this type of blood donation is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those who are at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease.

If you are interested, contact your nearest blood center.

Q:  Is it safe to travel within the U.S.?

Because cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in all states, depending on your unique circumstances, you may choose to delay or cancel your plans. The CDC offers travel guidance at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

If you do decide to travel, be sure to take steps to help prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases during travel.

Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection.

Q: Can people be admitted into community-based residential care facilities?

Yes. Facilities such as residential substance use disorder treatment facilities, psychiatric residential treatment facilities [PRTFs] and therapeutic group homes should continue to provide these essential services to both existing and newly-admitted patients.

These facilities should provide services as long as such individuals can be managed safely in those settings, are not at risk for more severe medical outcomes or respiratory disease, and are not in need of more acute or higher levels of medical care.

Q: Can inpatient and residential facilities combine residents of several homes/units if staffing is not available?

Because of the high infection rate of COVID-19 and the increased vulnerability of people with disabilities to have serious responses due to complications, people should, as a rule, not be forced into settings that would increase social interaction beyond recommended levels. Instead, people should be moved into community-based settings, if possible.

Q: How should facilities monitor or restrict healthcare facility staff?

The same screening performed for visitors should be performed for facility staff.

Q: Should inpatient and residential facility community activities be limited for all people or should it be a person-centered decision?

Community activities should be limited in accordance with current CDC guidance and other state and federal requirements. Nationally, the CDC has advised individuals should practice social distancing, avoid gatherings of more than 10 individuals for high-risk populations and go into the community only for essential activities.

Q: When a resident has tested positive for COVID-19 and quarantine procedures are implemented, severe behaviors are likely to occur. How should this be addressed?

The health and safety of the residents, visitors and staff are the highest priority. For residents who have been found positive for COVID-19 virus, the resident’s treatment plan should include what specific procedures and steps should be taken for quarantine of the resident while also taking every step reasonable to protect the rights, safety and health of the infected residents as well as staff and other residents.

Q: How should facilities screen visitors and outside healthcare service providers?

Facilities should actively screen and restrict visitation or healthcare service providers (e.g. contract therapist) by those who meet the following criteria:

Q: When should mental health and substance use disorder treatment facilities consider transferring a client/resident with suspected or confirmed infection with COVID-19 to a hospital?

Decisions regarding when a given resident with suspected or confirmed infection with COVID-19 should be transferred to a hospital must be made on a case-by-case basis, and must be informed by the resident’s medical status and acuity, as well as by the facility’s ability to care for, monitor and provide medically necessary services related to the resident’s medical and behavioral health needs.

Q: When should a facility accept from a hospital a resident who was diagnosed with COVID-19?

A facility can accept a resident diagnosed with COVID-19 and still operate under transmission- based precautions for COVID-19 as long as the facility can follow CDC guidance for Transmission-Based Precautions. If a facility cannot follow the guidance, it must wait until these precautions are discontinued.

Facilities should admit any individuals that they would normally admit to their facility who are not symptomatic, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present if they are able to adhere to the infection prevention and control practices recommended by the CDC.

If possible, facilities should dedicate a wing or room/s for any residents coming   or returning from the hospital. This can serve as a step-down unit where they remain for 14 days with no symptoms.

Q: Are Louisiana’s State Parks open?

According to the Office of State Parks, overnight facilities at parks are open to Louisiana residents, and tours at historic sites are now available for groups of 9 or less. Bayou Segnette and Lake Bistineau remain closed due to their use as regional isolation facilities.

RESOURCES

Q:  I am concerned that some businesses that I frequent are not following the social distancing, wearing masks and other COVID-19 mandates from the governor. Is there an agency that follows up on whether or not businesses are complying with these mandates?

If someone has a concern about a business that has reopened and is not following state guidelines related to social distancing, crowd control, capacity, etc. they can call the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal at 1-800-256-5452. If the concern is about not following state guidelines related to masks and disinfection they can email the Department of Health Environmental Health at EOCENVDR@la.gov

Q: Where can people get more information about what the State of Louisiana is doing in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak?

The Governor’s office is constantly updating its website at gov.louisiana.gov, as is the Louisiana Department of Health at ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus. You can also call 211 for general information about COVID-19 and to get connected to help and resources.

 

For text message alerts: Louisiana has implemented a new text alert system that provides timely COVID-19 updates and other critical guidance directly from the governor’s office to Louisiana residents. Sign up by texting ‘LACOVID’ to 67283.

 

Through the Smart911 app or smart911.com, families can provide key context to first responders. This is a free service that allows individuals to provide critical information including pre-existing conditions and quarantine status, in advance, to first responders.

Q: Where can I get the most up-to-date information?

Go to the Department of Health’s website: www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus

For information about the Phase 3 reopening, visit the Governor’s website at: https://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/2532

For information about schools, contact the Department of Education at this email address: LDOECOVID19Support@la.gov

Pandemic info: The White House Task Force has established www.coronavirus.gov  as the centralized website for the federal government. The CDC continues to maintain www.cdc.gov/covid19 site.

Q: Where can I find information and posters for businesses and other venues about wearing masks?

Masking posters for business and other venues as well as resources can be found at the following links:  http://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/3878

Links directly to posters:

o   Option 1: http://ldh.la.gov/assets/oph/Coronavirus/resources/Face-Mask-Sign-Option-1.pdf

o   Option 2: http://ldh.la.gov/assets/oph/Coronavirus/resources/Face-Mask-Sign-Option-2.pdf

Q: How do I apply for Medicaid? What if I need assistance?

Local Medicaid offices are currently closed to the public.

If you think you qualify for Medicaid, you can apply for Medicaid online at https://sspweb.lameds.ldh.la.gov/selfservice/. 

If you need assistance applying or have questions regarding your eligibility please contact the Louisiana Medicaid Customer Service Center: 888-342-6207 or Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana: 800-435-2432, which is federally funded to assist people in Louisiana with Medicaid. This includes learning how to use your health coverage to get the medical care you need.

You can also visit the Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana website: www.lahealthcarenav.com        

Applications can also be mailed to the following address:

Q: What if I don’t qualify for Medicaid but recently lost my health insurance? How do I enroll in the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace with the Affordable Care Act?

You can enroll yourself at the federal government website www.healthcare.gov or by calling 800-318-2596. You can also contact Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana at 800-435-2432, which is federally funded to assist people in Louisiana with any questions and with the enrollment process. This includes learning how to use your health coverage to get the medical care you need.You can also visit their website www.lahealthcarenav.com        

Q: Are there any state information and resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19?

Yes. There are informational resources for business posted on this website: ldh.la.gov/coronavirus

On March 19th, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that small businesses in all 64 Louisiana parishes will have access to federal Small Business Administration disaster aid in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

To get started immediately, visit SBA.gov/Disaster. SBA offers a three-step process for disaster loans explained here.

Louisiana Economic Development also is offering COVID-19: Business Resources, an online guide to assistance available for impacted businesses. Look for updates to the guide at OpportunityLouisiana.com.

Q: Are there any grants available to small businesses for COVID 19-related expenses?

Yes. State Treasurer John M. Schroder has announced a program that will help cover COVID 19-related expenses, The Main Street Recovery Program allows businesses to apply for up to $15,000 to cover eligible expenses. In the first 21 days of the program, grants will be given to businesses who didn't receive a Paycheck Protection Program loan, insurance payment or an Economic Injury Disaster loan. In the first 60 days, $40 million will go to businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans. For more information on Main Street, visit www.latreasury.com 

Q: Are counseling services available to the public?

Counseling services are now available at the Keeping Calm during Covid Phone Line.

Call 1-866-310-7977 | Available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. All calls confidential.

Counselors provide information and service coordination with linkage to mental health and substance use counseling services.

Q: Can I apply for SNAP food benefits for this emergency?

At this time, there is no option for emergency/disaster SNAP.

However, if you are not already a SNAP recipient and have a food need, you can apply for benefits online. There’s no need to visit a DCFS office. You can apply online or by mail/fax. For more information, text GETSNAP (no spaces) to 898-211, visit the DCFS website at www.dcfs.la.gov/getSNAP, email LAHelpU.DCFS@la.gov or call 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578) Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Q: Can I still receive WIC benefits? Is WIC still open for enrollment?

Most WIC clinics are open and some are operating in drive-thru fashion. They are collecting information via phone then a staff member will come to your vehicle.  Be sure to have your ID, WIC EBT card, and any other needed documents.  

Call your clinic or 1-800-251-2229 if you have any questions.

Q: Is WIC issuing new cards?  

If WIC participants already have a card, they should keep that card. If someone is newly applying to WIC, they will be issued a card. WIC is not issuing disaster cards.

Q: How do I file for an unemployment claim?

Visit www.louisianaworks.net/hire or call the Claim Center at 1- 866-783-5567

Q: Do you encourage blood donations at this time?

Yes, click www.aabb.org to search for local blood donation clinics.

Q: What is the LDH guidance for medical providers to request PPEs?

A link to guidance can be found at the top of the LDH Coronavirus webpage.

Here is the link for medical providers:

http://ldh.la.gov/assets/oph/Coronavirus/resources/providers/PPEforweb.pdf

Q: Is child care assistance available to families?

Families can access subsidized care for children age 12 and under through the Louisiana Department of Education’s Child Care Assistance Program, CCAP. The program assures affordable access to childcare at licensed childcare centers participating in the program.

The program is available to families with caregivers who are considered essential personnel in the COVID-19 response effort. Go to www.louisianabelieves.com to complete an application.

Q: How can businesses access help for COVID-19 concerns?

The Louisiana Economic Development staffs a help desk that provides email and hotline support for Louisiana businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The email is LEDbiz@la.gov                                                                  Toll-free hotline: 833-457-0531. Staffed 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. M-F.

For businesses seeking federal financial assistance, contact the U.S. Small Business Administration at SBA.gov/Disaster, or call 800- 659-2955. The TTY line is 800-877-8339.

Q: Can individuals report a store price gouging or scams?

The Louisiana Attorney General operates the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-351-4889.

Q: I want to file a complaint about violations relative to the governor's order.

 You can either direct them to call, or forward them to, 1-800-256-5452.

Q: I want to file a complaint about a sick employee continuing to report to work.

Direct them to call 225-354-3555.

Q: If I have a concern about a school being in violation of the return to school guidance, who should I contact?

Since Louisiana’s school facilities first closed in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, school systems and the Department of Education have worked to ensure the safety of students and staff was of utmost priority. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) adopted minimum health and safety standards for reopening schools. If you would like to register a specific school or system health and safety concern you feel is in violation of one of these standards, please email ldoecovid19support@la.gov         

Q: I received a call from this number, 225-800-5639. It was an automated call with a message related to COVID-19. Is this a legitimate call?

 Yes, this call is from the Governor’s COVID Response Alert System. The automated call system is being used to provide people with important information about the pandemic and resources that are available to residents. You are receiving the call because you live in a community where there are a large number of COVID-19 cases.

Q: Are there services that provide specialized assistance to those supporting young children during this stressful time?

Tulane’s Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program (TIKES) program is offering a free Tele Mental Health Consult for individuals caring for young children in Louisiana.

 

Childcare center directors, teachers, staff, and parents/guardians can access assistance to support young children through this stressful time, how to talk to young children about COVID-19, self-care, coping, supporting parents and other needs related to behavioral or social emotional concerns.

 

Access this free service online at https://tinyurl.com/TulaneTIKES .

Q: I have questions about these services that receive through the state’s Office of Aging. Who do I call or contact for information?

People who have questions can call or email the Office of Aging and Adult Services at:

Phone: 1-866-758-5035

Email:: OAAS.Inquiries@la.gov 

Q:  I receive disability services through the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) and I have questions regarding changes to those services during the COVID-19 emergency. Who do I contact regarding this?

Email OCDD-HCBS@la.gov , and someone will respond to your question.

 

Call OCDD 225-342-0095 Monday through Friday 8:00-4:30 to talk with someone directly, or leave a message outside business hours.

 

Q:  I provide disability services through the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD), and I have questions regarding the changes in services during the COVID-19 emergency.  Who should I contact with these questions?

Email OCDD-HCBS@la.gov , and someone will respond to your question.

 

Call OCDD Monday through Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm to speak with someone, or leave a message outside business hours.

Q:  Can I access free COVID-19 Counseling Services?

Yes, you can access a free crisis text line for confidential support, 24/7 by testing the word REACHOUT to 741741.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress, fear and anxiety about the uncertainty surrounding this public health emergency, you can access a special Keeping Calm through COVID Hotline at 1-866-310-7977. This connects you to trained, compassionate counselors who can offer support and who can direct you to mental health and substance abuse counseling services.  Trained counselors available 24/7. All calls are confidential.

Q: I am looking for access/copies to my medical records but my primary care provider's office/clinic is closed down and no longer operational.  What can I do?

If the caller is asking about records in the possession of a licensed provider such as a rural health clinic or a federal clinic (FQHC) the Louisiana Department may have that information. The caller should provide their information and the name of the clinic they use. Contact LDH’s Health Standards Section by email at HSS.Mail@la.gov or phone: 225.342.0138.

If the records are in the possession of a private physician, the caller should contact the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners at https://www.lsbme.la.gov/ or 504-568-6820

Q: What can I do if my landlord is telling me that I am being evicted because I can't pay my rent right now?

Your landlord must get a court order to evict you, and it is illegal for your landlord to lock you out, dispose of your belongings or cut off your utilities without going through the court eviction process.

Federal law prevents evictions until July 25, 2020, for certain rentals covered by the CARES Act. If you live in a multifamily building or single-family home that has a federally backed mortgage, late fees are prohibited. Eviction courts have been suspended in Louisiana until at least April 30, 2020.

If you have been served with legal papers regarding eviction, contact an attorney for assistance. For more information on how to find an attorney and a list of legal services offices in Louisiana, visit www.Louisianalawhelp.org 

Louisiana Housing Corporation resources for renters impacted COVID-19

Q: Is there grant or stimulus money available to families for funeral assistance for certified COVID-19 deaths? 

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 funded FEMA to reimburse individuals and households for COVID-19-related funeral expenses.

FEMA is providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic.

How to Apply

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number

Applications begin on April 12, 2021

844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

Hours of Operation:

Monday - Friday

9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time

Call this dedicated toll-free phone number to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA's representatives. Multilingual services will be available.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the application process, including expenses that qualify, at the FEMA Funeral Assistance FAQ page.

To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance:

FEMA encourages people to keep and gather documentation for COVID-19 funeral expenses. Types of information should include:

If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.

More information regarding this assistance can be found at https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance

Federal Links and Info

Q: How can I get the most up-to-date information about the pandemic?

The White House Task Force has established www.coronavirus.gov  as the centralized website for the federal government. The CDC continues to maintain www.cdc.gov/covid19 site

Q: Has the IRS extended the filing deadline for federal taxes?

Yes. The Trump administration announced on March 20 that it is moving tax day from April 15 to July 15, giving Americans an extra three months to file their taxes amid the disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Q:  How can businesses seek information on federal financial assistance designed for businesses?

For Louisiana businesses seeking federal financial assistance, they are encouraged first to contact the U.S. Small Business Administration at SBA.gov/Disaster to apply for COVID-19 disaster aid. The SBA Customer Service Center may be reached at (800) 659-2955, with an additional TTY line for the hearing-impaired at (800) 877-8339.

Q: How can I report possible fraud related to COVID-19 products?

The FDA has created an online way to report illegal selling of drugs (for humans and animals), medical devices, biological products, foods, dietary supplements or cosmetics.

https://www.fda.gov/safety/report-problem-fda/reporting-unlawful-sales-medical-products-internet

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Q:  What is the risk of getting COVID-19 on a plane?

Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, try to avoid contact with sick passengers, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC offers travel guidance at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Q:  What should I do to keep from getting sick if I travel?

Avoid contact with sick people.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. ◦It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.

Make sure you are up to date with your routine vaccinations, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine.

Q:  Is it safe to travel with friends or family?

It is still recommended that you stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing. Traveling to visit friends and family increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. It is possible for someone to have COVID-19 and spread it to others, even if they have no symptoms. Getting infected may be especially dangerous if you or your loved ones are at higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19. People at higher risk for complications need to take extra precautions

Q:  What should I do if I have recently traveled?

At this time, travel restrictions and entry screening apply only to travelers arriving from some countries or regions with widespread ongoing transmission of COVID-19.  You may be screened when you arrive in the United States. After you arrive home, take the following steps to protect yourself and others:

Stay at home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school.

Monitor your health. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for coughing or trouble breathing.

Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet).

Check CDC's Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Travel webpage at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.

Q. What if I feel sick within 14 days after returning to the U.S.?

For answers to your specific situation, you should contact your physician.