The Drum Newspaper is monitoring the community response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), a respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. This page is updated frequently and shared through social media @thedrumnews. Join our mailing list or sign up for notifications to receive immediate posts.

The City of Baker has again partnered with Southeast Community Health Systems to provide free COVID19 testing. Testing will be administered on Friday, August 28 from 9am until noon at the Miracle Place parking lot, 2080 Main Street in Baker. Registration packets are available for pickup at Baker City Hall and need to be completed and returned to City Hall by August 25 at noon. Onsite registration will be available until 11am; however pre-registration is highly encouraged.

Ochsner Health has expanded community testing to locations to the MLK Center at 4000 Gus Young Ave in Baton Rouge, starting Monday, Aug 17. Testing is open to Louisiana residents, age two and older, who wish to know their status. There are no out-of-pocket costs for those seeking a test and no one will be turned away based on their insurance status. Please bring your ID and insurance card, if applicable.

COVID-19 testing begins 3pm-5pm, Mon – Thurs in north Baton Rouge. Community testing for the coronavirus has begun at the LSU Health Baton Rouge North Clinic at 5439 Airline Hwy, nearest the population that has been most impacted. Read The Drum.

Gov. Edwards: All Louisiana Parishes Eligible for COVID-19 Business Aid. SBA loans of up to $2 million will aid Louisiana’s more than 440,000 small businesses. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza confirmed that Louisiana’s more than 440,000 small businesses are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans, which will be made available to eligible firms suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus. ONLINE: SBA offers a three-step process for disaster loans explained here.

Louisiana Association of Educators will begin offering online courses to help educators navigate some of the challenges of engaging with students while families deal with the impacts of COVID-19. LAE president Tia Mills, EdD, said she is excited the association can provide this critical service to members currently faced with maintaining contact with their students in this time of public crisis. Contact Dr. Suzanne T. Harris at or 225.235.2415.

Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO) is collecting data on how Louisiana nonprofits are adapting to the changing environment caused by the Coronavirus and their support needs. Click here to participate in the survey

Impact North Baton Rouge, formerly the Baton Rouge North Economic Development District, invites North Baton Rouge area restaurants that are remaining open for delivery or pick-up during the CoronaVirus-related shutdown to email Jerry Jones, Impact North Baton Rouge executive director, at

EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced today that effective Monday, March 23, 2020​ all City-Parish buildings – including City Hall and all community centers – will be closed to the public and restricted to essential City-Parish personnel through Monday, April 6, 2020. Restricted access to City-Parish buildings will be re-evaluated as the conclusion of the two week period approaches. Call 225-389-3000 or visit access to City-Parish buildings will be re-evaluated as the conclusion of the two week period approaches.

Department of Health reports positive Coronavirus cases, fifth death. The State of Louisiana reports a fifth death related to COVID-19 and lists the number of positive cases by age. Read The Drum
Cox Communications waives first month, offers toolkit to help families with in-home learning. Throughout Louisiana, families are making use of internet, wi-fi, and technology service offerings to help their school-aged children continue their education during school closures. Read The Drum
Fourth COVID-19 related death reported in Louisiana. The State of Louisiana reports a fourth death related to COVID-19. The Orleans Parish resident was an 80-year-old individual who lived at Lambeth House in New Orleans.  There are currently 171 coronavirus cases reported across the state. The highest number of cases is concentrated in the New Orleans area, where there are 116 coronavirus cases. Read The Drum.
Remember to dial 1-1:  Short dial codes ending in 1-1 are convenient ways to quickly call for assistance and services nationwide. Remember these numbers and their uses.
  • 211:‎ 2-1-1 is a free confidential service that connects callers to information and services in times of need. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even during disasters. Louisiana 211 works to link people and resources for a better Louisiana through collaboration and partnership between nonprofit organizations providing 211 services, funding United Ways and the State of Louisiana Public Service Commission.
  • 4-1-1 Louisiana business directory assistance. Call to find contact information for local or state business‎es.
  • 3-1-1: City-Parish 311 Call Center for citizen’s service requests by dialing 311 or through the Red Stick 311 mobile application‎. It’s Baton Rouge’s source of local government information and non-emergency services.
  • 5-1- 1:Louisiana Relay Service (711, or 800 846-5277 for TTY/TDD users or800 947-5277 for voice users) is a 24-hour service that provides telephone communication between people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled, through the use of specialized equipment to communicate freely with people who use a standard.
  • 7-1-1: Louisiana Relay Service (711, or 800 846-5277 for TTY/TDD users or800 947-5277 for voice users) is a 24-hour service that provides telephone communication between people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled, and people who use standard phones. ‎Dial 711 to be automatically connected to an LRS operator. It’s fast, functional and free. Dialing 711, both voice and TRS users can initiate a call from any telephone, anywhere in the United States.
  • 8-1-1: LA One Call is a free service to help you dig safely. We alert our members so that they can mark nearby underground facilities before you start. Dial 811 Before You Dig. Wait for the Site to be Marked
Louisiana Economic Development has launched a resource page as individuals and the state’s business community adjust to the coronavirus pandemic. This information focuses on useful resources for businesses and individuals. Read THE DRUM Similarly the Small Business Administration has established a COVID-19 page for Small Businesses. It provides updates on the SBA and state government’s goal to offer targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus. Read SBA
All East Baton Rouge parish libraries close Tues., March 17. The East Baton Rouge Parish Library will close all locations to public access beginning at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, and remain temporarily closed until further notice. Digital library services will remain open. The library has extended the expiration dates on all current library cards, and late fees or fines will be accepted by credit card online. Read: EBRP libraries.
What therapists tell patients who are anxious about Carnovirus.  If the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting your mental health, therapists provided The Huffington Post with eight suggestions for managing anxiety. Read Huffington Post.
EBR Schools updates employees and students on resources, medications, meals. Superintendent Warren Drake announces the district plans for employees and students, including services for student medications and meals. One important decision is the district will not provide distance learning but will provide online links to optional enrichment and educational resources for parents. Read: The Drum
FREE MEALS. In response to COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Regina Barrow along with several colleagues are partnering with McDonald’s and EBR School System to provide free lunch meals to students in the Glen Oaks and Scotlandville communities. Meals will be available at noon tomorrow, March 16, at Glen Oaks High School, 6650 Cedar Glen Dr and Scotlandville PreEngineering Middle Magnet School, 9147 Elm Grove Drive. For more info call 225-359-9400. Barrow thanks McDonald’s, EBR School System, Sen. Cleo Fields, Reps. Barbara W Carpenter, C. Denise Marcelle, Edmond Jordan, Ted James, Larry Selders, and Eugene Rico Williams.

National. Health officials warn the US government does not have enough stockpiled medical equipment to deal with coronavirus. Read more

A Message from Lake After Hours: If you or a loved one feel you are showing symptoms (Cough, Fever, Shortness of Breath) consistent with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please call our clinics prior to coming to the location. If you feel your illness is “mild”, per the CDC’s recommendations, practice social distancing by remaining at home to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19. As with any illness, please call 911 if you feel you are in any type of respiratory distress. Visit

NOLA Business Alliance establishes relief fund for local gig economy Workers. As a result of the current and anticipated local economic impact of COVID-19, the New Orleans Business Alliance has set up a dedicated relief fund to meet the needs of gig economy workers who have been directly affected via loss of income. NOLABA is committing $100,000 to initiate the fund, with the goal of increasing its assets to a minimum of $500,000. The organization is also charging the New Orleans community to participate by encouraging business leaders, philanthropy, and concerned residents to contribute and increase the potential impact of this critical relief effort. For additional information regarding the gig economy workers’ relief fund, or to apply, please visit

Clever software updated to aid student at-home learning |K-12 school students and others using the school-based Clever software will find a new section of applications to help students continue studies while schools are closed. Read more: The Drum

Misconceptions Blacks have about Coronavirus | reports the top 11 most common misconceptions that many in the Black community have: #1 – Black People Can’t Get It. Read more: The Drum

EBR Parish Library updates hours, cancellations due to public health concerns. As of Monday, March 16, all 14 East Baton Rouge Parish Library locations will observe modified hours due to public health concerns. Read more: The Drum



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