NEW ORLEANS — While the risk of the general public contracting coronavirus in New Orleans is very low, the New Orleans Health Department has been monitoring the 2019 novel coronavirus (201-nCoV) which began in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019.
On Wednesday, February 5th, the New Orleans Health Department and Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness held a multi-disciplinary planning meeting to ensure that all agencies within New Orleans are developing coordinated plans to respond to possible cases.
The New Orleans Health Department is coordinating directly with the Louisiana Department of Health and attends weekly calls with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The department has provided regular updates to all New Orleans healthcare providers to ensure that healthcare systems are prepared to easily identify suspected cases, implement infection control procedures, and test and/or treat an individual if needed.
The City is also working closely with the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), Port of New Orleans, Coast Guard, and Customs and Border Patrol to review and implement new federal guidelines for individuals with travel history to China.
At this time, the federal government does not recommend screening at MSY and has rerouted all flights with passengers from China to one of the 11 airports where screening is currently taking place.
Our public health and healthcare systems are ready for Mardi Gras and the coronavirus poses a very low risk to the Carnival celebrations.
Again, while the risk for coronavirus in New Orleans is very low, we are currently experiencing a bad flu season and the best method to reduce the spread of ANY virus is to wash your hands regularly, stay home when you are sick and cover your cough.