City Council launches ‘SewDat’ website to centralize mask donations, resources

From the New Orleans City Council

The New Orleans City Council has partnered with the Mayor’s Office and the City’s Department of Health to launch a centralized website for resources and donations for cloth face coverings called “SewDat.” The website provides a location where citizens, nonprofits and businesses can donate cloth face coverings to non-medical, essential employees at grocery stores, restaurants, bus and taxi drivers, volunteers staffing food pantries, and meal distribution centers. In addition, the website will offer a place for residents to purchase cloth face coverings, limiting competition for N95 and surgical masks, which are in high demand and short supply for health care professionals and other first-responders in Louisiana. The website will also provide instructions to residents interested in sewing or creating a mask with supplies at home. SewDat.com has a list of local businesses and individuals selling face coverings to the general public.

Have some free time? Explore the virtual library

If you’re wondering how you can keep whiling away the hours while your normal activities are on hold, here’s a suggestion: Take advantage of the virtual public library. Although your neighborhood library is shuttered for the time being, the New Orleans Public Library still provides access to a wide variety of movies to stream, e-books to read, audio books to listen to and more. There are also plenty of resources to keep the kids entertained, help them (and you) master their homework and even prepare for the LEAP or the SAT. Now that you have more time on your hands, have you been thinking about tackling some of the projects you haven’t gotten around to? The virtual library can help.

Sponsored: Clerk Chelsey Richard Napoleon announces FREE subscriptions to the Remote Access system including civil records and land records

Clerk Chelsey Richard Napoleon announces FREE complimentary subscriptions to the Remote Access system, including civil records and land records. This will allow the public the flexibility of anytime, anywhere and anyplace access to information in both the Civil and Land Records divisions. Current subscribers will receive a complimentary extension. Members of the Louisiana Bar can electronically file (E-File) civil pleadings using the Remote Access system. Note that if you created an account previously, it has been reactivated at no cost.

RTA is reducing service, waiving fares

Beginning Sunday (March 29) in response to COVID-19 pandemic, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority is further reducing its service. Some routes will remain on a Saturday schedule,  other lines will run less frequently and some routes will be eliminated during the coronavirus crisis. In addition, the RTA will waive transit fares for bus, streetcar and ferry service until further notice. The RTA continues to urge the community to use public transit for essential travel only and for riders to practice social distancing when using transit. Service suspended
The 11 Magazine, 15 Freret and 90 Carrollton buses will suspend service altogether from Sunday until further notice.

Viewpoint: Weighing risk in the restaurant takeout dilemma

By Kristine Froeba, opinion columnist

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?

Why restaurants and drive-thru daiquiri shops can sell alcohol to-go as bars remain shuttered

While some bars in New Orleans hoped they could survive the economic fallout of COVID-19 by selling alcohol to-go, city and state officials have clarified that they must close completely – leading to a peculiar situation where restaurants, breweries and even drive-thru daiquiri shops can sell alcohol to-go, but not regular bars. To stem the spread of coronavirus, on March 16 Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered all bars in the state closed until at least April 13. However, drive-thru daiquiri stores can still remain open and restaurants can still sell packaged beer or wine for curbside pick-up or delivery. Breweries can still sell their beer, though not from the tap. Some bars with kitchens initially thought that they could still employ some staff by selling alcohol and food to-go as well, but officials ordered them to stop.

Viewpoint: Leaders must demand sheltering in place to flatten the curve

By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mayor LaToya Cantrell are being too soft on New Orleans. With the number of confirmed cases and deaths skyrocketing, our elected officials don’t have the luxury of merely suggesting that people stay home as much as possible. Some form of sheltering in place must become the law of the land if we don’t want martial law and the additional restrictions it will bring. Though it might sound extreme, sheltering in place slowed the virus in China and is currently being implemented in Italy, Spain, Belgium and France. The Ukraine has shut down all transportation.

COVID-19 updates: Revenue collection; financial impact on city; updates from courts, Parks and Parkways, Youth Works

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.

COVID-19 updates: Restrictions tightened, where to find resources

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. On Monday afternoon, following a conference call with the White House, Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered all bars, movie theaters and casinos closed and banned on-site eating in restaurants, restricting them to take-out, drive-through and delivery orders only. The proclamation also limited all gatherings to no more than 50 people. The legislative session is suspended until at least March 31. The restrictions take effect today and will be re-evaluated on April 6.

COVID-19 updates: Drive-thru testing, closures, rules for bars and restaurants, how to help

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.