State Capitol visitors will be screened for COVID-19 before entering
BATON ROUGE - Anyone with plans on entering the state capitol will be screened for the coroanvirus starting March 16th.
According to an email sent from the Senate Office of Communication and House Communications Office, the Louisiana State Legislature is taking precautions to complete its business during the 2020 Regular Legislative Session by having all legislators, staff, and members of the public take a COVID-19 screening to prevent the spread of the virus.
The email stated:
CONTACT: Senate Office of Communication/House Communications Office
LOUISIANA STATE LEGISLATURE ENCOURAGES CAPITOL VISITORS TO BE PREPARED FOR COVID-19 SCREENING PROTOCOLS
In its best effort to meet its constitutional obligations and provide funding for the state’s most vulnerable citizens and programs, the Louisiana State Legislature is working to complete its business in a responsible and efficient manner during the 2020 Regular Legislative Session.
To reach that goal while also protecting the health and safety of everyone entering the State Capitol building, the legislature has instituted a screening protocol for all entrants, including legislators, staff, and members of the public, as a precautionary measure to fight the potential spread of COVID-19. The protocols were decided on in consultation with medical professionals and by following CDC guidelines and will begin on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Senate President Page Cortez and Speaker of the House of Representatives Clay Schexnayder are encouraging all entrants to be prepared for those screening measures. First and foremost, those planning to visit the capitol should perform a self-screening in anticipation of their visit. This self-screening should include taking your temperature at home and asking yourself the below questions. If you answer, “yes,” to any of the questions, please consider staying home and know that your access to the building may be restricted.
- Any recent foreign travel? If yes, where?
- Have you experienced fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough and/or shortness of breath) in the last 14 days?
- Have you been in the vicinity of a person with possible COVID-19 infection?
- Has a family member or close contact been in the vicinity of a person with possible COVID-19 infection?
- Have you been in close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient?
Authorized personnel will be stationed at all open entrances to ask the above screening questions and check everyone’s temperature. Any person with a temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) will not be allowed into the building and will be advised to seek medical attention if they are feeling unwell. Individuals allowed into the building will be given a specific sticker for that day to indicate that they were checked and will be asked to wear the sticker in plain view.
The President and the Speaker are also encouraging everyone to take the proactive steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect the health of themselves and those around them, including:
- Covering your cough.
- Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, or with a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
- Avoiding close contact (within six feet) with those who are sick.
Please be advised screening protocols are subject to change. For more information, please contact the Senate Office of Communication or the House Communications Office. Reliable Sources of Public Information on COVID-19 include:
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html
- Louisiana Department of Health: http://ldh.la.gov/coronavirus/
- LDH coronavirus hotline: 1-855-523-2652 (8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday)
- Governor’s Office Coronavirus information page: https://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/89
- La. Department of Education page featuring COVID-19 guidance for schools: https://www.louisianabelieves.com/resources/covid-19
- Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness: www.GOHSEP.la.gov
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