NEW ORLEANS, LA – DePaul Community Health Centers (DCHC) recently received a $100,000 grant from the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s (GNOF) Response and Restoration Fund to conduct COVID-19 virus rapid testing for both patients and staff. Dr. Michael G. Griffin, President and CEO of DCHC, believes that GNOF’s financial support is timely.
“Nationwide and locally, coronavirus cases have risen significantly over the past several weeks, and are anticipated to continue increasing,” said Dr. Griffin. “We thank GNOF for its generous funding and its foresight in recognizing the continuous need to combat this pandemic.”
DCHC provides COVID-19 virus testing for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. In addition to rapid coronavirus tests, antibody tests are available.
“The access and performance of COVID-19 testing is paramount to controlling the spread of this disease in our community as well as our country. Rapid testing is very important because it allows for more efficient contact tracing and it also helps in making appropriate clinical decisions pertaining to COVID-19 therapeutics,” said Dr. Stacy Greene, DCHC’s Infectious Disease Lead. “I am very elated that we are able to offer rapid COVID-19 testing at DePaul because in many cases we will be able to offer test results in a matter of 15-20 minutes.”
DCHC encourages the community to follow recommended coronavirus prevention guidelines as outlined by the CDC, including wearing a mask/facial covering, washing hands frequently for at least twenty seconds, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large crowds.
The health care organization also encourages the community to receive a flu shot as soon as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that influenza was associated with more than 35.5 million illnesses, 16.5 million medical visits, 490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths during the 2018–2019 influenza season. Everyone, six months of age and older, should receive a flu vaccination annually, especially people at high-risk.
This year’s flu season is compounded by the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Per the CDC, flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the health care system and conserve scarce medical resources for the care of people with COVID-19.