Latest updates on COVID-19

COVID-19 booster shots that target the omicron variant’s BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are available now for eligible people ages 12 and older. COVID-19 vaccines are available now to anyone 6 months or older. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best defense when it comes to slowing the spread of and preventing severe symptoms or illness leading to hospitalization or death.

Visit the Centers of Disease Control website for the latest guidelines on COVID-19 booster shots and schedules.

Exposed or Symptomatic?     

At-Home Testing

At-home rapid tests are effective and are a convenient way to learn your COVID-19 status. We recommend isolating without a positive test if you are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms or utilizing community testing sites.

Community Testing

  • Louisiana Department of Health Louisiana Department of Health testing sites which are located across the state are listed here.

    Lafayette Region

    Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    816 Harding Street Lafayette, LA 70503
    Test: PCR and rapid tests available.

    North Louisiana Region

    Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport - Kings Highway
    1606 Kings Highway Shreveport, LA 71103
  • To find a free community COVID-19 testing location near you, click here: www.ochsner.org/testing. We are working on extending testing hours in coming days and will be updating this website regularly.

COVID-19 Testing Before Procedure

If you have an upcoming surgery or procedure at Ochsner, you may be referred to one of the pre-procedural testing locations below to prepare your medical team. Your results will be made available to your provider and to our infection control team. You will receive your test results within 72 hours.

Antibody Testing is Available

Antibody testing determines whether you had COVID-19 and now have antibodies against the virus. To receive the antibody test, you must have a physician order. The cost for the antibody test is $50, and this price does not include the cost of any visit copay that would be incurred. Please contact your insurance provider for covered benefits prior to coming in for testing. You will receive your test results within 24-48 hours.

Ochsner COVID-19 Self Care and Symptom Monitoring Program

  • If you or a loved one has recently tested positive for COVID-19, you can also easily enroll in Ochsner’s free COVID-19 Self Care and Symptom Monitoring Program. By completing a quick form in MyOchsner, you will be automatically registered into our program. If symptoms worsen, our care team will be there to guide on next steps and treatment options.
  • Click on this tip sheet to learn more.

Evusheld for COVID-19

Patients who are immunocompromised and who have a referral from their physician are eligible to receive Evusheld, a protective measure to prevent COVID-19 in vulnerable populations. Patients are eligible to receive Evusheld for COVID-19 exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) if they meet the following criteria:

  • Patients over 12 years old AND over 88 lbs AND
  • Not currently infected with COVID-19 and not had a known recent exposure to an individual infected with COVID-19 AND
  • Increased risk of severe disease AND not expected to mount an adequate immune response after two doses of mRNA vaccine or equivalent OR
  • For whom vaccination with any available COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended due to a history of severe adverse reaction (e.g., severe allergic reaction) to a COVID-19 vaccine(s) and/or COVID-19 vaccine component(s).

It is strongly recommended that patients complete the primary series of currently available COVID-19 vaccines. Evusheld is not intended to be a replacement for vaccination but should be used in addition to vaccination for protection against COVID-19.

Please note: Patients who have previously received a lower dose of Evusheld will be contacted to receive their “catch-up” dose. Appointment scheduling to receive Evusheld is dependent upon eligibility. A referral is not a guarantee you will receive a dose of Evusheld.

Referral forms are for physician use only. Patients are not required to fill out these forms.

Emergency Rooms and Urgent Cares

Urgent Care

Please do not visit urgent care unless you need immediate attention.  People use urgent care centers for high fevers, accidents, falls, injuries like cuts, minor breaks, sprains and strains, and other conditions. As a community we need to ensure people who need Ochsner’s care can receive it. Please use at-home tests or community testing sites to seek COVID-19 tests, for travel and exposure testing, and the COVID-19 Self Care and Symptom Monitoring Program if possible. A positive at-home test does not need to be confirmed in an Ochsner urgent care.

Urgent Care Virtual Visits through Ochsner Connected Anywhere

Virtual visits remain available for common illnesses and urgent care needs. If you'd like to see a provider without leaving home, visit ochsner.org/anywhere to start an Ochsner Connected Anywhere virtual visit.

Emergency Rooms

Please do not visit emergency departments unless you have medical needs that warrant emergency care. Please do not visit emergency departments if you are asymptomatic or mildly sick or are only seeking a COVID-19 test. The emergency department is a place for true emergencies, such as difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, severe accidents, heart attacks, strokes, gunshots and other major wounds. Using the emergency department for care other than emergencies takes precious resources away from patients in need of lifesaving care.

As part of our enduring commitment to the health and safety of our patients and care teams, Ochsner Health requires COVID-19 vaccinations of all of our employees, physicians, and anyone involved in patient care.

The safety and effectiveness of the vaccines is proven. We join physicians, researchers and global healthcare leaders who consistently agree that the safe, effective vaccines available to us prevent death, hospitalization and severe disease.

Get the facts on COVID-19

FACT: COVID-19 has become the leading cause of death in the United States.

The COVID-19 vaccines can have mild side effects, but the vast majority are very short term and are not serious or dangerous. While some people experience one to two days of discomfort where they were injected, body aches, headaches or fever, these are signs that the vaccine is working to stimulate your immune system. The vaccines are not resulting in any serious illnesses or deaths.

Click here to download the fact sheets.

Find COVID-19 vaccine locations.

FACT: You are at much greater risk if you are unvaccinated.

Nearly all patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. are unvaccinated. Louisiana and Mississippi rank among the lowest in the nation in vaccination rates, leading to the high infection and hospitalization rates in our states. Getting vaccinated protects you from contracting the virus, but most importantly, it protects you from the more severe symptoms experienced by unvaccinated individuals that lead to hospitalization and death.

Click here to download the fact sheets.

Find COVID-19 vaccine locations.

FACT: Younger people are more susceptible.

Unlike previous strains of the virus, the Delta variant is having a greater impact on infection rates and hospitalizations among children and younger people. A recent study showed that children and adults under age 50 were 2.5 times more likely to become infected with Delta compared to those older than 50 years. Our hospitals are caring for more children with COVID-19 now than at any other point in the pandemic.

Click here to download the fact sheets.

Find COVID-19 vaccine locations.

FACT: Breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals rarely result in hospitalizations or deaths.

Get vaccinated! The vast majority of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Ochsner are unvaccinated. In order to protect ourselves and our loved ones from Delta and other variants that could emerge in the future, a significant portion of the population must be vaccinated. Find vaccine locations here.

Click here to download the fact sheets.

FACT: Booster shots are important to maximize the protection COVID-19 vaccines provide.

The Centers for Disease Control says all fully vaccinated individuals ages 12 and over should receive the booster shot if it's been at least five months since you completed the Pfizer vaccine series, five months since you completed the Moderna vaccine series or at least two months since you received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Find COVID-19 vaccine locations.

Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms can be very similar to the flu or cold. If you develop these symptoms or have been in contact with someone known to have COVID-19:
For general information, dial the Louisiana hotline, 211, or text the keyword LACOVID to 898211.
Dial 211

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