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Relevant News

Ochsner Health Launches Covid-19 Prevalence Study to Determine Virus Spread

People who are interested in participating should enroll online at

Release Date: May 7, 2020


Ochsner Health is pleased to announce the launch of a COVID-19 prevalence study, which will collect data to determine the spread and impact of the virus in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. The study will offer free COVID-19 and antibody testing to enrolled parish residents at various testing sites throughout the region. Residents are encouraged to sign up for the study online today at

Led by Principal Investigator Amy Feehan, PhD, data from the study will be analyzed to determine how widespread the virus is in our community and which populations have been most impacted. This information will help inform community reopening plans and provide healthcare providers and leaders with more information about the novel virus.

“The COVID-19 prevalence study will provide us with valuable data about the spread of the virus in our community. This is another opportunity for eligible residents to show up and stand with us to ensure a safer and healthier city and region. As I have said, it will be the data, not a date, that drives our re-opening decisions; that is to ensure that we do not endure a second and worse wave of the virus,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Our success in the fight against COVID-19 depends on all of us, and we are calling on the people of New Orleans to be our partners in this effort.”

This is one of the first and most comprehensive prevalence studies in the country. Ochsner currently has more than 30 clinical studies and trials for COVID-19 treatment underway. In April, Ochsner, along with BioInfoExperts, LLC, completed the first genomic sequences of COVID-19.

Who Is Eligible for the Study?

We hope to enroll at least 2,500 participants in the study, representing a “mini Orleans and Jefferson Parish.” Residents of all races, ethnicities, ages and neighborhoods are encouraged to sign up online so the study can accurately represent our community.


  • Must be 18 years or older

  • Must be a resident of Orleans or Jefferson Parish

  • Must not have tested positive for COVID-19 previously

    • Individuals who have previously tested negative for COVID-19 are eligible


How Does It Work?

People who are interested in participating should enroll online at Participants will be contacted if they are selected for the study via a text message with testing location details. Testing sites are located throughout Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.

Upon arrival at a designated testing center, participants will provide verbal consent and complete a brief survey. Testing includes a nasal swab (COVID-19 test) and a blood draw (COVID-19 antibody test). This process takes approximately 10 minutes from start to finish. Participants will receive their test results by online within 24-72 hours.

Participants are encouraged to enroll in Ochsner’s secure online patient portal, MyChart prior to getting tested to expedite the process. You can sign up for an account here.

Why Should People Participate?

Data collected in this study will provide a clearer picture of the spread of COVID-19 in the Orleans and Jefferson Parish communities. Because testing was limited when COVID-19 first occurred locally, it’s possible that many residents who were infected do not know if they had the virus. Those who participate are providing valuable information that will help the region better understand and recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Testing is also completely free of charge for participants.

Where Can I Learn More?

Visit or call 504-703-8283 for more information or to enroll. To learn more about Ochsner, please visit

Covid-19 and Diplomacy in 2020: The Great Disruptor” with Dr. Kenneth Dekleva

This video is from the San Diego Diplomacy Council's first virtual event which was a success with over 100 members and friends joining in.  ”These guys are my heroes”, said Dr. Kenneth Dekleva referring to Dr. William Walter, Director of Operational Medicine at the U.S. Department of State and Dr. Michael Callahan, a Tropical Medicine-Infectious Disease expert at Harvard University ( see pictures above). An accomplished psychiatrist and former U.S diplomat, Dr. Dekleva spoke about COVID-19 as a great disruptor that will have a lasting impact on our society. He emphasized that social distancing is currently our best and only tool available in fighting COVID-19. “The time for leadership is crucial as ever, and there are different types of leadership”, he added. (He then spoke of Dr. Li Wenliang, Dr. Tony Fauci, and President George Bush. Despite the negative implications resulting from the pandemic, he believes that some positive effects include a significant rise in technological integration in the workforce and more international cooperation. “Information sharing at many levels is essential,” he said. As far as protecting our mental health during this period of isolation, he recommends that staying in touch with loved ones, supporting each other virtually, and remaining active are some of the best things we can do.


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will pause programs until July 31st and review this decision at that time.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) will temporarily pause all ECA-funded programs that involve travel to and from countries with heightened U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Alert Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions) and Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) or heightened State Department COVID-19 related Travel Advisory Levels 3 (Reconsider Travel) and 4 (Do Not Travel).

  • ECA-funded programs will be paused for CDC Alert Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions) and Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) countries due to COVID-19.  Details of the travel notices issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for all locations are available at

  • ECA will pause ECA-funded programs in countries with COVID-19 related State Department Travel Advisory Levels 3 (Reconsider Travel) and 4 (Do Not Travel).  Details on travel advisories for all locations are available at

  • In addition, ECA will also temporarily postpone or cancel large ECA-sponsored gatherings worldwide, if these gatherings include people who have traveled internationally in the past 14 days.

  • ECA constantly reviews safety and operational constraints on its programs, and additional postponements or cancellations are possible on this basis.

  • ECA views the health, safety, and well-being of program participants as its highest priority.  In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, ECA will pause programs for 60 days and review this decision every 30 days thereafter.

  • ECA will continue to directly communicate information about the management and status of current and future programs and gatherings to relevant participants and stakeholders.

  • ECA has already evacuated or offered voluntary departure for U.S. citizen exchange participants from countries or regions where there are elevated Centers for Disease Control Warning Levels or State Department Travel Advisories (Azerbaijan, China, Italy, Mongolia, Republic of Korea).

For further information about ECA programs, please contact  For questions about State Department Travel Advisories, please contact  For additional information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s dedicated website:

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