Louisiana Statewide Network 211 staying busy during COVID-19 crisis
BATON ROUGE - The state's 211 network is answering calls about COVID-19 from Louisiana residents who have questions. It's an easy-to-remember telephone number that people can call for information about health and human services available in their community.
United Ways throughout Louisiana support the Louisiana 211 statewide network. The Louisiana Department of Health and Office of Public Health Bureau of Community Preparedness is partnering with Louisiana 211 and the Louisiana Association of United Ways.
The Capital Area United Way is responsible for keeping information up to date locally. People who access the network can find information about basic human needs, health resources, employment support, support for children and childcare, and volunteer opportunities.
The Baton Rouge area has over 900 resources in the database and people answering the phones have been busy, Capital Area United Way President and CEO George Bell says.
"We've received over 7,000 calls in less than a week," said Bell. "With people being out of work, with people being off from work and oftentimes without any compensation, people are looking for where they can find resources."
In addition to the 7,000 calls, more than 15,000 people have communicated with the service through text message in the last week.
Louisiana residents can call 211 anytime or text LACOVID to 898-211. They can also access information online. Many calls are answered through a call center in Monroe, LA, others are answered remotely. Wait times are being closely monitored and more people are being added to answer calls. Callers can also be transferred to crisis centers or 911 if need be.