COVID-19 Destination Updates and Resources
We have compiled the latest destination information, resources, and healthy travel tips to help our resilient community and potential travelers.
[Updated 5.19.2020 at 1:18 PM CT]
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a notice that effective May 15 the state of Louisiana will enter Phase 1 for reopening that will last until June 5, the next update on reopening will be on June 1. Many businesses and events have adjusted to accommodate patrons during this time. To view the Phase 1 Executive Order please click here.
The Governor also announced a new text alert system for COVID-19 updates. Residents can opt-in by texting LACOVID to 67283.
We will continue to update our site as new information comes in about the region.
Visitor Center Updates
Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism
Due to rising concern over COVID-19, the visitor center in Raceland will suspend operations through June 1. Louisiana’s Cajun bayou is diligently reaching out to partners, clients and the hospitality community as a whole in order to navigate through this unprecedented challenge.
Have an update you would like to let us know about? Reach out to us at (985) 537-5800. You can also follow and contact us on social media.
Updated as of: 5/19/2020
- Gheens Bon Mange Festival: Canceled
- Cajun Heritage Festival: Canceled
- Let Freedom Ring: Fireworks only, no mass gathering.
- Tawasi Antiques & Art Show: As planned
- La Fete Des Vieux Temps: As planned
- Louisiana Gumbo Festival: As planned
- French Food Festival: As planned
- Big Boy's Main Street Cookoff: As planned
- Thibodeauxville Fall Festival: As planned
Resident & Business Resources
Local updates on COVID-19
General COVID-19 Information
Louisiana Workforce Commission
Small Business Association
Louisiana Economic Development
Re-opening Louisiana Safely
Recommendations for Louisiana Businesses
As you look to pass accurate information to your workers and make important decisions regarding business operations, a good place to start is with the CDC's recommended business strategies which include:
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
Separate sick employees.
Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
Perform routine environmental cleaning.
Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps.
For more information, see below or visit the website of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, for a variety of other resources, fact sheets, and fliers regarding COVID-19 including:
Louisiana Department of Revenue
Extends Sales Tax Filing Deadline
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued a two-month extension, to May 20, for businesses to file returns for their sales and excise taxes that were originally due tomorrow.
According to LDR's official announcement, the extension will apply to sales, beer, and wine excise tax returns and payments for the February 2020 period. In addition, the Department will be waiving penalties and interest for returns and payments received by the extended deadline.
Additional Guidance on New Federal Paid Leave Mandates
U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy’s office has shared a summary of the new law that passed yesterday, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In short, most employers are now required to provide sick leave to workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and federal tax credits will be offered in an attempt to reimburse employers. Read HERE.
Experts at Forbes have offered this breakdown of the new mandates, which you may also find helpful. Read HERE.
The US Department of Labor is authorized to waive the mandate for some small businesses, and state officials expect that guidance by next week. We at LABI continue to analyze this bill and communicate the concerns of cash-strapped businesses with new costly mandates.
IRS Delays Income Tax Payments to July 15
As part of the federal government's response to the Coronavirus crisis, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance allowing all individual tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments originally due on April 15 until July 15 without penalties or interest. Similarly, the new deadline for corporate tax payments up to $10 million is also July 15.
The IRS encourages filers to meet the April 15 deadline so they can receive refunds sooner. The states are expected to follow suit, and we will keep you updated.
For more tax information, visit the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief website.
Commissioner Donelon Authorizes Emergency Rule
In response to the Coronavirus crisis, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has issued Emergency Rule 36.
Under the emergency rule, health insurers must:
- Waive cost sharing for COVID-19 testing when ordered in accordance with CDC guidelines and are prohibited from requiring prior authorization for this testing.
- Permit early refills, except for drugs in certain drug classes like opioids, when consistent with doctor/pharmacist approvals.
- Suspend the use of step therapy.
- Enhance access to mail order pharmaceuticals.
- Continue to ensure network adequacy given the anticipated increase in demand due to COVID-19.
Tell LABI How the Coronavirus
Is Affecting Your Business - And How Officials Can Help
While the Louisiana Legislature's regular session is on hold due to COVID-19, our team at LABI is gathering both industry-specific and statewide information and suggestions for federal, state and local aid. Please click below to complete a one-question survey on the impact to your business operations.
In addition, please email LABI Senior Vice President Camille Conaway with your ideas on immediate and long-term aid: [email protected]. In the short term, tax relief, fast-track unemployment compensation, regulatory waivers and extensions of deadlines are just a few examples of policy improvements that might help. In the long run, we plan to also present solutions that will stimulate our economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.
Please share your experiences and ideas with us.
Information from the Louisiana Department of Health
With more than 392 cases of the Coronavirus confirmed across 26 parishes (Orleans, Jefferson, St. James, Caddo, St. Tammany, East Baton Rouge, Bossier, Lafourche, St. Bernard, St. Charles, Terrebonne, Lafayette, St. John the Baptist, Ascension, St. Landry, Washington, West Baton Rouge, Acadia, Assumption, Calcasieu, Iberia, Iberville, Livingston, Plaquemines, Rapides, Webster) the Louisiana Department of Health has resources available for the state's business community.
To see LDH's Guidance for Business and Employers, click HERE.
In addition, LDH has also made printable items available that can be placed around your place of business and company facilities.
- How to Keep Illness from Spreading
- Coronavirus Symptoms and Travel Considerations
- LDH's Guidance for Family Preparedness
For more information, visit LDH's coronavirus website or you can call the Louisiana 211 Network by dialing 211. In addition, you can text the keyword LACOVID to 898-211 for regular text updates from LDH on the coronavirus in our state.
Resources from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Given the national scope of the Coronavirus challenge, LABI's partners at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. have made resources, guidance, and information available for American businesses and workers.
- To access the U.S. Chamber's Coronavirus Response Toolkit, click HERE
- To access the U.S. Chamber's Resilience in a Box portal, offering preparedness tips and information about best practices for small business, click HERE
- To see the U.S. Chamber's Coronavirus Guidance for Employers, click HERE
- To see the U.S. Chamber's Workplace Tips for Employees, click HERE
In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has also created a Disaster Help Desk for Business - an information concierge to assist small businesses with disaster readiness, relief and long-term recovery. You can reach the help desk either ONLINE or by dialing 888-MY-BIZ-HELP or sending a message to [email protected].
For additional information, including updates on the U.S. Chamber's Congressional advocacy during this time, visit their Coronavirus website.