(Shreveport, LA) – Louisiana’s statewide 211 network is now answering calls about COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. This network is best designed and staffed to handle the large volume of calls from Louisiana residents who are concerned and who have questions about the rapidly-spreading virus. United Way 211/United Way of Northwest Louisiana provides 211 services to northwest Louisiana as part of the Louisiana 211 Statewide Network.
Anyone looking for information about the COVID-19 outbreak can simply dial 211 or text the keyword LACOVID to 898-211 for the most current information about the outbreak as it becomes available. In addition to being able to call Louisiana 211 or to sign up for text messaging, residents can also get written answers to the most-asked questions by concerned citizens. The website is www.la211help.org.
At the recommendation of the Louisiana Governor’s office, United Way of NWLA will close its office through April 13th and cancel all large events through June 2020. The United Way staff will work remotely in an effort to help slow the spread of the virus. Louisiana 211 will continue to serve as a resource during this time. “United Way of Northwest Louisiana works hard every day to ensure citizens in our region have access to 211, 24/7, including during times of uncertainty,” says Dr. Bruce Willson, President and CEO of United Way of Northwest Louisiana. “As this health and economic crisis continues to unfold, citizens can rely on 211 to access information on how to take proper health precautions.”
The Louisiana 211 statewide network provides multilingual services, as well as information for people who are hearing impaired. Sarah Berthelot, President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of United Ways, coordinates statewide response efforts with 211 providers throughout Louisiana. “By working closely with the Louisiana Department of Health, our statewide network is equipped with accurate answers to the most common questions on COVID 19 at this time. Our robust system of call centers, text message capability, and websites gives people access to information that can help them make better decisions and best prepare for this health crisis,” Berthelot said.
This week, LDH provided Louisiana 211 with a comprehensive list of questions that have come into the original information telephone line. These include questions about testing for COVID-19, symptoms and treatment, and when to access medical help. Answers to all questions were provided by LDH’s medical leadership team.
Louisiana 211 is supported by United Ways throughout the state of Louisiana.