Apr 032020

From left, Liz Mahoney, Gale Froeba, Quyen La and Mike Kravet are members of the Tulane Medical Center team responsible for operating the Roche Cobas 6800 analyzer used to run COVID-19 diagnostic tests. (Photo courtesy of Tulane Medical Center)

By Barri Bronston, Tulane University

A laboratory based at Tulane Medical Center and in partnership with UMC-LCMC is conducting a new test for COVID-19 that can yield results within four hours. The test was made possible through the joint efforts of the Tulane University School of Medicine, the LSU School of Medicine, Tulane Medical Center, LCMC Health and Roche Diagnostics.

Researchers at the Tulane Medical Center Laboratory ran its first set of tests using the Cobas 6800 analyzer over the weekend and is now capable of running nearly 200 tests a day. The testing is open only to patients at Tulane Medical Center and University Medical Center. Continue reading »

Apr 022020

Kevin Kinsella of Big Easy Corona Clean sanitizes a New Orleans business on Wednesday (April 1). (Danae Columbus)

By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Joe Sobol Sr. was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. The Riccobonos, his mother’s family, came to New Orleans after Sicily’s devastating famine in the 1880s. They first sold produce and then macaroni in the French Quarter. Eventually they opened The Pearl Restaurant and Oyster Bar at 119 St. Charles Ave., where 10-year-old Joe got his first job dressing the family’s famous roast beef po-boys. Continue reading »

Apr 012020

By Emily Carmichael, guest columnist

Emily Carmichael

A week and a half into quarantine with COVID-19, I was shaking. I piled a blanket on top of myself and rocked side to side, occasionally moaning, nestling ever deeper into the joints of my couch. My heart felt like it was racing, my head pounded.

Yes, according to my doctor, I most likely was infected with the coronavirus, but that’s not what was causing this. It had been 10 days since I was within 8 feet of another person, and I was having an anxiety attack.  Continue reading »

Mar 282020

Sign on the door of the Breaux Mart in Chalmette is attributed to “Jeffrey at Chalmette store.” (via Twitter)

The Breaux Mart at 3233 Magazine St., along with the others in the local supermarket chain, will be closed Sunday (March 29) to give its employees a rest, according to posts on the store’s social media accounts. Continue reading »

Mar 282020

Beginning Monday (March 30), Hands On New Orleans, in partnership with World Central Kitchen, is launching the Serving Seniors Program to provide free meal delivery service to home-bound, low-income seniors and chronically ill residents, who are at a greater risk of severe illness if exposed to the coronavirus. And they need volunteers. Continue reading »

Mar 272020

By Kristine Froeba, opinion columnist

The PJ’s on upper Magazine Street is taking call-in orders. (Kristine Froeba)

COVID-19 can live up to eight hours on cardboard takeout boxes and up to 72 on Styrofoam containers, straws, cups and plastic bags, says a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Airborne droplets can linger in the air for three to four hours after a person has coughed or sneezed.

What does that mean for locals who are supporting our beloved local restaurants and coffee shops? It means risk. Takeout and curbside service is a risk to the health of the workers and the customers, but how much?

That’s a question no one can answer yet. It may be a question some would prefer to ignore or deny. Continue reading »

Mar 222020

Louisiana Department of Health data as of March 22. See here for PDF.

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order today that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday (March 23) to further fight the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, as the number of confirmed cases have topped 800 and spread to more than half of of the state’s parishes. Continue reading »

Mar 192020

Mayor LaToya Cantrell announces on Monday (March 16) the closure of bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, gyms, health clubs and other businesses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Mayor’s Office photo)

With New Orleans a hotspot for the pandemic, officials have put in place a daunting array of restrictions and closures that have disrupted the life — if not the livelihood — of nearly every New Orleanian.

Hundreds of New Orleans workers have been impacted by COVID-19 related closures. If you’ve experienced a loss of income because of the coronavirus pandemic, here are some resources to help you through, including unemployment compensation; relief funds for gig workers, musicians, bartenders and others; help for small businesses; counseling for stress and more. Continue reading »

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Mar 182020

Coronavirus (via www.cdc.gov)

From the Mayor’s Office

Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Tuesday announced that, response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the city is waiving fines, fees, interest and penalties on sales tax payments due to the city for 60 days. In addition, the City will extend the renewal period for alcoholic beverage outlets, or ABOs, up to 30 days without penalty.

“The impacts of COVID-19 are going to leave a mark in history for the city. How we respond to this pandemic will define us. My No. 1 concern has always been – and will always be – to protect and serve the people of our great city. I know that a lot of our people are really worried right now about how they are going to make ends meet,” said Mayor Cantrell. “My goal: That we all get through this uncertain time. Everyone needs help getting through this. We are all going to have to help each other out as much as we possibly can. I have relaxed what is owed to the city – and businesses must use this opportunity to do everything in their power to help the residents of New Orleans – this includes paying employees. Continue reading »

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Mar 172020

Novel coronavirus (via www.cdc.gov)

Monday saw the city’s third death of the coronavirus, an 84-year-old resident of the Lambeth House retirement home Uptown, and aggressive measures  on the state and city level to prevent the spread of the disease.

Louisiana is among country’s highest per capita rates of COVID-19 infection, with 136 cases as of Tuesday morning, and New Orleans is the epicenter, with 94 presumptive positive cases. Continue reading »

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Mar 162020

(via tulane.edu)

By Julia Prager-Hessel, guest columnist

Students, faculty, and staff at Tulane received an email last Wednesday that said classes will cease or go online, and those living on campus are to leave in the next week and a half.

However fracturing to our semesters, this move came as no surprise and with little resentment from students. Tulane is largely a flight school that draws many of its students from Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, and our friends at schools across the country had been sent home throughout the week. Continue reading »

Mar 162020

Coronavirus (via www.cdc.gov)

Here’s the latest from the city on the quickly changing coronavirus situation in New Orleans.

If you’d like to help, here’s the city’s advice on how to donate and volunteer.

From the Mayor’s Office

Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Sunday outlined several actions the city of New Orleans is taking in coordination with local, state and federal partners in its continued response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Mayor Cantrell also continued to insist that residents practice safe behaviors such as social distancing and avoiding large gatherings like the ones that were shut down Saturday by the New Orleans Police Department.

“This is a crisis. This is real. You have to pay attention. The news this morning of a second death in Orleans Parish is heartbreaking, personally — and is additional tragic news for the people of our City. We are losing loved ones. We all have a role to play — every resident in this city,” said Mayor Cantrell. “‘Social distancing’ isn’t a buzzword — it’s a way to save lives and slow the spread of this infection in our community.”

As anticipated, the rate of cases is continuing to rise, and the numbers are rising at a greater rate than anticipated. As of Monday morning, there were 114 cases statewide, 79 in Orleans Parish. There have been two deaths. Continue reading »

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Mar 152020

A crowd gathers outside Tracey’s on Magazine Street — near a sign warning against congregating on the street as the deadly coronavirus is spreading in New Orleans. (Sharon Lurye, Uptown Messenger)

By Sharon Lurye, Uptown Messenger

Police cars arrived at Tracey’s Bar on Magazine Street on Saturday to break up a crowd of more than 250 people participating in a St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl, in violation of a ban on large crowds that Gov. John Bel Edwards announced through an executive order on Friday. The size of the crowd spurred some public shaming from Mayor LaToya Cantrell on social media.

“The crowd exceeded 250 people and spilled into the streets. They were dispersed without incident,” said an New Orleans Police Department spokesperson. “The NOPD will continue to enforce the governor’s ban.” Continue reading »

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Mar 142020

(Uptown Messenger file photo)

Eight residents of the Lambeth House Retirement Community at the foot of Broadway have confirmed cases of cornonavirus, Lambeth CEO D. Scott Crabtree told state Rep. Aimee Adatto Freeman, District 98, in a letter she emailed to constituents.

Five are hospitalized, and three are in quarantine at the facility, Crabtree said. The patients are reported to be in their 80s and 90s. Continue reading »

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