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How will Louisiana prepare for COVID-19 hurricane season?

"We are not going to posture the same way,” Gov. Edwards said

NEW ORLEANS —

Hurricane season gets closer every day, and while South East Louisiana may not be under a stay-at-home mandate June 1, Gov. John Bel Edwards said the coronavirus will change the way the state will respond to severe weather. 

"There are all sorts of things we are going to have to consider…," Gov. Edwards said.

During a press conference, reporters asked the governor how the coronavirus pandemic will change the state’s response to hurricanes or other severe weather.

"We are not going to posture the same way,” Gov. Edwards said.”For example, to shelter the same number of people, we are going to have to have multiple shelters, so we can practice social distancing."

Gov. Edwards also said his office will need to work on getting more personal protective gear and more doctors and nurses to help.

“We are going to need to provide PPE,” the governor said. “We are going to have additional medical personnel in any shelter we open.”

In New Orleans, city leaders said COVID-19 patients and healthcare workers in isolation trailers near the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center would wear protective gear and be brought in to the convention center should severe weather arise.

The Department of Health has projected that Louisiana could be combating the coronavirus pandemic until the end of the year. 

Gov. Edwards said the time to prepare for a hurricane season that may be mired by the pandemic.

“So get a game plan.” Edwards said. “So, you and your family can be in the best possible position to withstand a hurricane." 

Meeting with FEMA and other agencies next month, the governor said he hopes to learn more about federal plans to deal with the scenario. 

Hurricane Season begins June 1. Learn more at Getagameplan.org

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