Covington Weekly » April 22, 2020

Daily Archives: April 22, 2020

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Covington and St. Tammany Parish Information and Resources: April 2020

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Covington Updates & Information

Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Mayor Mark has declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This declaration is a proactive effort to position city government to respond as needs related to the virus arise. It enables the city to seek funding and resources for our community as they are made available by Federal and State agencies.
March 25, 2020, President Trump announced approval of major emergency declarations for New York, California, Washington, Iowa, Louisiana, Texas and Florida. This allows Louisiana to become eligible for a greater amount of Federal assistance than was previously available.
As Covington continues to monitor the outbreak, city government is taking guidance from Governor John Bel Edwards, who is adhering to recommendations from the Center for Disease Control.
Covington City Hall and Public Works will be closed to the public, and will remain so until further notice. All departments will continue to conduct business via phone and email. Offices can be reached at 985-892-1811, by email, or at covla.com. Public Works can be reached at 985-898-4700.
For further updates, sign up for the Mayor’s email at covla.com “Together, we can flatten the curve.”
Utility Billing Customers:
The City offers Automatic Bank Draft, which requires an authorization form to be submitted with a voided check. The form may be found on the City Website, covla.com under utility billing/forms. This may be mailed to Covington City Hall, 317 N. Jefferson Ave., Covington, LA 70433, or left in the after-hours drop box outside of City Hall.
Utility billing payments may also be processed through your online banking system, the city website, or place in the after-hours drop box (please do not put cash in the drop box).
New utility service permits: Please contact the Utility department at 985-892-1811, or via email at utilitiesbilling@covla.com to arrange new service set up. The City of Covington establishes new account services by appointment only.
Following the guidelines set by the Louisiana State Government in response to the COVID-19 Virus, the City of Covington is announcing the cancellation/ postponement of the following events:
April
4/1-5 – CBA A Taste of Covington – Postponed TBD
4/1 – CBA Monthly Meeting – Canceled
4/2 – Rockin Rails – Rescheduled 1st Thurs in May
4/4 – SPS Annual Alumni Crawfish Boil – Canceled
4/4 – STAA Art Market – Canceled
4/7 – City of Covington Council Meeting – Canceled
4/9 – Rockin Rails – Rescheduled 2nd Thurs in May
4/11 – Egg Rollin’ at the Trailhead – Canceled
4/11 – Kiwanis Health Fair – Postponed Date TBD
4/11 – STAA Spring For Art – Canceled
4/18 – Covington Rock the Block – Canceled
4/18 – Covington Cares About West 30’s – Canceled
Youth Service Bureau has suspended all services
City of Covington Recycling Suspended, One Day Per Week for Waste Collection Service:
Beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020, all waste will be picked up on Wednesdays Only. Recycling services are suspended until further notice.
Coastal Environmental Services will be posting updates to their website and Facebook page as often as necessary. Customers can also reach them by phone at 985-781-3171 or email: info@ces-la.com
Stay At Home Order (Til May 15th):

  1. Stay Home
  2. Only go out for essential services
  3. Stay six feet or more away from others
  4. Don’t gather in groups
    Be Responsible and Act Conscientiously
    Recycling Suspended, Waste Pick Up Wednesdays
    City of Covington Recycling Suspended, One Day Per Week for Waste Service:
    Due to both a decrease in manpower and as a precaution for drivers and hoppers (the men on the back of the trucks), Thursday (March 26th) will be the last for recycling until further notice, waste is picked up as usual this week.
    Beginning next week, waste will be picked up on Wednesdays Only. Next week there will be one and only one pickup day: April 1st. (No Fooling).
    When recycling returns, it will be picked up on Thursdays. Waste will continue to be taken on Wednesdays. Originally, changing the whole city to Wednesdays Only was scheduled for mid April. The idea was that the City of Covington would have plenty of time to notify residents by placing the information on the water bill; that change is on the current water bill, and now it’s wrong.
    With the suspension of recycling, it made sense to make the change effective Wednesday, April 1st.
    FAQ: You may use your recycle bin for waste, recycling is suspended indefinitely. Please bag your green waste or place in your cans when possible.
    Coastal Environmental Services will be posting updates to their website and Facebook page as often as necessary. Customers can also reach them at 985-781-3171 or email at info@ces-la.com.
    Statewide Burn Ban Issued For Louisiana
    Statewide Burn Ban Issued During Public Health Emergency – Baton Rouge – State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, in collaboration with Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, have issued a statewide cease and desist order for all private burning, pursuant to authority under R.S. 40:1602. Private burning shall only be allowed by permission of the local fire department or local government. This order is effective as of 8 a.m. March 25, 2020 and shall remain in effect until rescinded.
    The containment method of the fire is not the exception, but rather the use is; barbeque pits, fire pits and small campfires are permitted during the burn ban when used for brief, recreational purposes. Placing brush materials into a fire pit to burn away for extended periods of time is not permitted.
    This ban shall not apply to prescribed burns by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, by those trained and certified by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, or by those who conduct prescribed burning as a “generally accepted agriculture practice” as defined by the Louisiana Right to Farm Law (R.S. 3:3601 et seq.).
    Violation of this Fire Marshal order could result in criminal and/or civil penalties.
    St. Tammany Parish Government hosts a Hazard Mitigation Plan Virtual Public Meeting on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 2PM. Check their website (stpgov.org) and/or fb page for instructions on how to access the meeting.
    CPD Announces tip411, Department Updates
    The Covington Police Department is increasing its crime-fighting arsenal with a new app to help residents connect with the department to find information, view alerts and submit anonymous tips from their smartphone. Developed by tip411, the Covington PD app puts a powerful new crime-fighting tool into the hands of community members of all ages. The Covington PD app is available for download for free via the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store.
    “Police services are not limited to 911 emergencies. In addition to providing for the public safety, the Covington Police Department works proactively in our community to prevent crime,” said Covington Police Chief Stephen Culotta. “We believe the new Covington PD app from tip411 will help greatly enhance our ability to fight crime by engaging our community.”
    The new Covington PD app enables the public to share an anonymous tip with police, allowing officers to respond back, creating an anonymous two-way conversation. Citizens can also submit videos and photographs with their tips.
    “We’ve listened to feedback from partners like Covington Police and have built a more advanced and innovative product to help departments better engage their communities,” said tip411 President Terry Halsch.
    “The Covington PD app powered by tip411 will greatly improve the public’s access to agency alerts, social media channels, important information to help fight crime.”
    The Covington PD app and tip411 anonymous text a tip system are 100% anonymous, as the technology removes all identifying information before police see the tips and there is no way to identify the sender.
    Those without a smartphone will still be able to share information with police by sending an anonymous text tip via their cell phone to police by texting keyword CPDLA and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411).
    Covington Police Department COVID-19 Update:
    In light of the concerns over the COVID 19 outbreak, the men and women of the Covington Police Department would like to reassure our citizens that we are here, and will continue to protect and serve. However, a few modifications must be made:
  5. The Covington Police Department Admin building will be closed to the public.
  6. Walk in ticket payments will not be accepted. Tickets can be paid online at myfinepayment.com or mailed to the following address: Covington Police Department, 609 N. Columbia Street, Covington, LA 70433 Do Not Send Cash Through The Mail
  7. If you wish to obtain a copy of an accident report, you can go to policereports.us
  8. The Records Division will be closed. If you wish to obtain a copy of an incident report, please email policerecords@covla.com with your request. For the next 30 days, we will be waiving all fees associated with obtaining an incident report. Incident reports will be sent electronically.
  9. Property and Evidence pickup will be suspended until further notice.
  10. Covington City Court on March 30, 2020, at 3 p.m. will be canceled. Those who were required to appear will be issued the new court date of May 18, 2020, at 3 p.m.
  11. If a call for service does not require an officer to citizen contact, we will be handling these type calls over the phone. All emergency calls will be handled as normal. We want to stress to the public that if they are symptomatic, to relay this information to dispatch so that the appropriate precautions can be taken.
    If you have an Emergency, call 911 or call Dispatch at 985-898-2340 for Non-Emergencies.
    CPD is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    COVID-19 Updates & Resources
    St. Tammany Parish Government has up to the minute COVID-19 information on Access St. Tammany STPG-TV. Watch on Charter at Channel 710, or Channel 99, menu item Access St. Tammany, on AT&T U-Verse. Also viewable at stpgov.org.
    St. Tammany Parish Public School System TV Remote Learning Resource videos will be aired each day at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. And 5 p.m. On AT&T U-Verse Ch. 99, Charter Ch. 198, and on Roku. An hour of engaging educational lessons taught by our STPPS teachers will help review, refresh and reinforce student learning.
    St. Tammany Parish Public School System announces that the weekly option for meals begins today (Wednesday, April 1st). This allows families to pick up five shelf-stable lunches and breakfasts for each child once a week on Wednesdays at Fontainebleau High, Pearl River High, Salmen High, Pitcher Junior High and Slidell Junior High from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Daily pick up of hot lunch and breakfast is also available every weekday at Covington High and Slidell High. More info: stpsb.org/coronavirus
    Message From STPG:
    “We want to thank every person who is adhering to the Governor’s Stay At Home order. We are aware of people in large groups on our scenic waterways not adhering to the Governor’s Stay At Home orders, and choosing to ignore medical experts, and leaders who continue to stress the essential importance of social distancing. We, along with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office are working together to keep all our citizens safe, and are working to address each situation on a case by case basis. We will continue to do this as long as we need to do it.
    Our primary goal is working together to keep all of our citizens safe. We are urging residents to each do their part, and comply so that resources are not wasted to remind citizens to do something they should already be doing. This is disappointing, as we have been asking for weeks for each person to exercise personal responsibility.
    Those who choose large gatherings over social distancing could be unnecessarily undermining the health and wellness of themselves, as well as others who live in our community. The sooner we change our mindset and the behavior that can spread COVID-19, the sooner we will return to normalcy. Thank you.” STPG
    St. Tammany Parish Government Announces the Closure of Parish Parks, Playgrounds and the Tammany Trace:
    St. Tammany Parish has closed the parks, playgrounds and the Tammany Trace. Please know that should citizens choose to use the Trace for the next couple of weeks, there will be no presence of rangers for your security or to provide assistance to you, if needed. Additionally, the drawbridge near Lacombe remains in the upright position to accommodate boat traffic per the Coast Guard. We encourage residents to continue to get outside and get exercise in and around your neighborhoods. Your patience and understanding at this time as we deal with this public health crisis is greatly appreciated. Thank you.” STPG
    Resources for Businesses
    COVID-19 Small Business Resources:
    If COVID-19 is affecting your St. Tammany Parish Hotel, Bed & Breakfast, Restaurant or other Tourism-related Small Business, Louisiana Northshore would like to hear from you. We want to hear your experiences so we can share your voice with our legislators. Email the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission at support@louisiananorthshore.com.
    The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
    For questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
    Small Business Owners: The experience ratings have been temporarily suspended for unemployment insurance.
    For those unaware, when someone files for unemployment and is approved, their former employer normally sees a bump in experience rating, which in turn raises their cost of unemployment insurance. So this is good noes for employees and employers.
    Employees Affected:
    The one week waiting period to apply for benefits has been waived as well. Please share this so others are aware and don’t have reservations about utilizing our unemployment system. Learn more at laworks.net.
    Word and Quote of the Week
    collectively – as a group; as a whole
    “A group experience takes place on a lower level of consciousness than the experience of the individual. If, therefore, I have a so-called collective experience as a member of a group, it takes place on a lower level of consciousness than if I had the experience by myself alone.”
  • C.G. Jung, “The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious”
    The New Moon is Thursday, April 23, 2020.
    Covington Retail & Services
    Goodbee Plumbing – Goodbee Plumbing would like the public to know that they are open for business to address any plumbing needs you may have. Goodbee Plumbing is taking all precautions, sanitizing between jobs and wearing protective shoe booties.
    The health of our customers and our employees is our top priority. To eliminate close contact, we are taking phone payments and emailing invoices on site. Thank you, Goodbee Plumbing.
    Jewel’s Cigar & Briar is now open with limited hours and social distancing measures in place. 201 N. New Hampshire St. 985-892-5746
    St. Tammany Health System Update
    St. Tammany Health System is providing care to all patients requiring hospitalization and is not near capacity. The System has the space, the technology, the materials and the personnel to properly care for all patients (COVID or otherwise).
    The Hospital has instituted an outdoor triage to meet Louisiana Department of health and CDC expectations. Outdoor triage helps decrease the number of individuals entering and leaving the hospital building itself.
    If you or a friend want to confirm symptoms or have concerns, there are options: You can call 985-898-4001 to schedule a Virtual Visit with a St. Tammany Health System provider. Second, their partner Ochsner has a 24-hour nurse on call at 866-230-1977. You can talk through symptoms right on the phone.
    From the Hospital: “Overall total hospital census today (April 1) is 120 (bed license is 232), with 13 COVID- positive and 17 COVID- tests pending, all in proper isolation. STHS teams continue and negative pressure spaces for safe care of our patients.” via City of Covington
    It’s Time for Spring Cleaning! Pressure Washing (Downtown Covington Only) 985-288-9609