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St. Tammany asks parish employees to ‘shelter-in-place’ for next two weeks

Updated: Mar. 27, 2020 at 10:39 AM CDT
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COVINGTON, La. (WVUE) - St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper said he is asking parish employees to shelter in place as COVID-19 spreads across the state.

For a second day in a row coronavirus cases in St. Tammany Parish jumped by more than 20% and parish officials are stepping up prevention efforts.

Cooper was emotional as he asked the community to stay at home and mentioned that there is no known vaccination.

He put the parish employee in order for the next two weeks. Cooper said that the ones that could work from home would to keep the parish business going.

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“We want our employees to be healthy, we want their families to be healthy so they can return to work as soon as possible to help citizens of the parish,” Cooper said.

The order goes in place on Monday (March 30).

Cooper said that he will be available 24/7. He said that workers had been pulling back and working from home little-by-little, but it became evident they would need to stay home.

SEE FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE IN ST. TAMMANY AND ACROSS THE STATE HERE

The parish president expects online services for permits, planning and zoning and other issues.

“How fast they are approved and moved forward is another issue,” Cooper said.

Cooper said he had no word on any parish employees testing positive for coronavirus.

The parish is in contact with the healthcare community each day.

“We are working to keep up with the growing needs of our citizens,” Cooper said. “It’s very concerning that (the New Orleans) is growing so rapidly.”

He said the parish is looking at large buildings in St. Tammany Parish in the event they need “step-down” hospitals. Cooper said the parish has not been asked to assist with New Orleans patients.

He said testing is available to anyone that feels like they have symptoms.

“The number 211 is the first number to call if you need a test,” Cooper said.

Ochsner is still running coronavirus testing sites in the Mandeville area. They ask that you call 211 or your healthcare provider before going there.

St. Tammany Parish Fire Chief Chris Kaufmann also pleaded with the public to help the parish by staying inside so they could use resources where they are desperately needed.

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