Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome has asked the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to coordinate with the recently formed Louisiana Coronavirus Task Force, local medical personnel, public safety officials and other stakeholders to follow developments related to coronavirus. 

"I want to reassure the public that the City-Parish is being proactive and maintaining constant communication with local area medical providers and state health officials," Broome said in a release Monday.

In partnership with the state Department of Health, area hospitals have been actively working on pandemic preparedness plans over the past 15 years, she said.

"I have been informed they are engaging their Emergency Preparedness Teams in preparation of receiving potential patients with coronavirus," Broome said. "Currently, hospitals are sending their medical staff updates on CDC guidelines and screening protocols.

"Hospitals are also meeting with local large employers to prepare them for potential sickness in their workforce."

The CDC and healthcare providers recommend every day healthy habits to help prevent the risk or spread of respiratory viruses, by avoiding close contact with people who are sick. When sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick and seek medical care immediately. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands to help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

On Tuesday, Broome will host a Facebook Live presentation at 7:30 a.m., on the City of Baton Rouge page, to discuss local preparations for potential cases of coronavirus. She will be joined by Dr. Steven Gremillion, chief medical officer with Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, to provide information to help prevent the risk or spread of respiratory viruses.