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President Cooper, Parish Medical Leaders Offer Update on Covid-19 in St. Tammany

At a press conference Monday, St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper provided the latest information regarding COVID-19, especially the sharp rise in hospitalizations.

“What COVID-19 is doing to our community has created a grim reality,” said Cooper. “This is without a doubt, the most dangerous phase of COVID that we have endured. Hospital beds are filling by the hour. Nurses, doctors and medical professionals are working longer hours with more stressful situations. I am urging our citizens to please take the virus seriously.”

On Monday, August 9, 2021, the Louisiana Department of Health reported a three-day, weekend total of 792 new COVID-19 cases, which topped last weekend’s total of 738.

“Undoubtedly, one of the most concerning figures of this phase of the virus, is the rapid rate of hospitalizations. We simply cannot keep up with the pace.” Within two weeks, one St. Tammany Parish hospital reported an increase from 66 to 115 hospitalizations.

Almost all recent hospitalizations from COVID-19 were not vaccinated.

“If you don’t trust my opinion about the vaccine, ask your own doctor,” said St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston. “And if you don’t trust him or her, why is he or she your doctor?”

As of Wednesday, August 4, 2021, St. Tammany Parish is under an indoors mask mandate for anyone over five years old. Cooper said further limitations are not off the table, if the health of the community continues to decrease.

The press conference Wednesday was attended by St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston; Dr. Michael Hill, VP of Infection Prevention and Quality, St. Tammany Health System; Dr. Timothy Riddell, Regional Medical Director, Ochsner Northshore; Dr. Jacques Guillot, Chief Medical Officer, Lakeview Regional Medical Center; Holly Sanchez, Chief Operating Officer, Slidell Memorial Hospital; Dwain Meche, Acadien Ambulance and 22nd Judicial District Court District Attorney Warren Montgomery.

The conference can be viewed by clicking here.

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President Cooper Issues Statement Regarding Executive Order

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper clarifies the language and addresses concerns regarding the Executive Order signed on August 3, 2021.

“We are not taking control of any property or belongings,” said Cooper. “This language, that was included in every emergency Executive Order, is designed to protect citizens during an emergency when the resources are otherwise not available. I want our citizens to rest assured that we are not assuming control of any private properties with regard to COVID-19.”

The language in the third paragraph of the sixth page of the Executive Order mirrors the statutory language of La. Rev. Statute 29:727, which provides the powers available to parish presidents in a declared emergency.  That statute states, in part, that when a parish president declares a local disaster or emergency, he may, “subject to any applicable requirements for compensation, commandeer or utilize any private property if he finds this necessary to cope with the local disaster.”

For example, the provision allows the government the ability to use a citizen’s boat to rescue flood victims, a commercial parking lot for the distribution of food and water or a drug store’s medical supplies, if necessary, to treat patients in an emergency.  The government would still be responsible for paying the property owner for use of their property.

The statute has provided these powers to parish presidents since 1993, and the language has been included in St. Tammany Parish Executive Orders since at least 2005, spanning three administrations. 

“To my knowledge, the only time this power was used in St. Tammany Parish was in the seizing of a radio station post Hurricane Katrina to provide public communication. I pray that this is a power I will never have to use.  Please know that my priority will continue to be the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of St. Tammany.”

View President Cooper’s video message to citizens here. Media can download the video by clicking this link.

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MASK MANDATE BACK IN EFFECT IN ST. TAMMANY ON WEDNESDAY

MANDEVILLE, LA. – Following the advice of medical professionals, St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper has reissued a mask mandate when inside public places following increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“The progress that we have made in the last 18 months has been lost and now, it is time to refocus our efforts on mitigating the spread,” said Cooper. “Our local hospitals have reported record levels of hospitalizations. In the last two weeks, St. Tammany Parish has seen COVID-19 cases skyrocket, shattering previous records. The very least we can do, in order to move forward, is to wear a mask.”

Masks are required for all individuals five years old and over, when inside public establishments, in accordance to CDC and Louisiana state guidelines.

On Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported a three-day weekend total of 738 COVID-19 cases in St. Tammany Parish. The previous weekend total was 509, which was reported last Monday, July 26.

“Our vaccinations have slightly risen to 46% within the last week or two; however, we still have a long way to go,” said Cooper. “My administration is strongly encouraging all citizens, who are able, to please consult your medical professional and consider vaccination. It is proven and safe.”

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 or the vaccine, please click here for more info.

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PRESIDENT COOPER ANNOUNCES INCREASED COVID-19 MEASURES IN ST. TAMMANY PARISH GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS

MANDEVILLE, LA. – St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced increased COVID-19 preventative measures in Parish government buildings, beginning Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

“We are without a doubt in a fourth surge right now,” said Cooper. “We are strongly encouraging all Parish employees and citizens to become vaccinated as we limit the spread of this pandemic. Our Parish has made remarkable strides in fighting COVID and related restrictions, especially when it comes to balancing safety and economy. Let’s take our efforts to the next level, together.”

On July 27, all citizens who enter Parish government buildings will be required to wear a mask and maintain proper social distancing. Additionally, all Parish government employees, who are not vaccinated, will be required to wear a mask when indoors. Vaccinated Parish employees are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.

On Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health revealed 509 cases were reported in St. Tammany for the July 24-26 weekend, which is the largest amount of COVID cases in one weekend in St. Tammany.

Last week, the Louisiana Department of Health reported a 11.9% positivity rate, which has risen weekly for the last month. St. Tammany has a 42% vaccination rate.

Local hospitals have reported an overwhelming majority of hospitalizations were not vaccinated.

Those who have not yet been vaccinated, please consider doing so or discussing your concerns with your doctor or a medical professional to ensure that you are making the best decision for yourself and your family based on medical facts.

To find a vaccination location near you, please click here.

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ST. TAMMANY PARISH PRESIDENT MIKE COOPER PROVIDES UPDATE ON COVID-19

At a press conference Wednesday, St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper updated the community on COVID-19, especially the Delta variant and sharp uptick in cases, and encouraged vaccinations.

“The latest data from the Louisiana Department of Health regarding the coronavirus in St. Tammany is extremely concerning,” said Cooper. “We are without a doubt entering a fourth surge. We have made so much progress together in the last six months, in balancing the health of our neighbors and the health of our economy. We need to take critical steps now, like vaccinations, distancing and other precautionary measures, to protect our community.”

On Wednesday, LDH reported an 11.9% positivity rate in St. Tammany from July 8-14, 2021. The state also confirmed 201 new cases of COVID-19 in St. Tammany Wednesday, which is the largest amount in a single day since January 2021. St. Tammany has a 42% vaccination rate.

Almost all recent hospitalizations from COVID-19 were not vaccinated.

“The vaccine misinformation circulating online is dangerous and alarming,” said St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston. “I urge people to listen to their own healthcare providers and medical professionals and to get vaccinated immediately.”

President Cooper reiterated that the Parish is not currently under a mask mandate, business restriction or other COVID-19 related limitations. However, there is a possibility that restrictions could return, if the health of the community continues to decline.

The press conference Wednesday was attended by St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston; St. Tammany Parish Public School System Superintendent Frank Jabbia; Dr. Michael Hill, VP of Infection Prevention and Quality, St. Tammany Health System; Dr. Timothy Riddell, Regional Medical Director, Ochsner Northshore; Dr. Jacques Guillot, Chief Medical Officer, Lakeview Regional Medical Center; Holly Sanchez, Chief Operating Officer, Slidell Memorial Hospital; St. Tammany Council Chairman Mike Lorino and Councilman Jimmie Davis.

The conference can be viewed by clicking here.

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St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper issues a statement following heavy rainfall and flooding Tuesday morning.

“While the water has receded rapidly, several St. Tammany Parish residents have taken on water in their homes, cars and businesses,” said Cooper. “While our drainage systems were working as designed, events like today show a need for a comprehensive approach towards addressing drainage. I will continue working diligently with all agencies, local, state and federal, to provide improved drainage infrastructure, plans and guidance.”

Neighborhoods south of Interstate 12 in Mandeville experienced 8-11 inches of rain within a few hours. Additional rain is expected in the coming days.

Parish drainage systems were at full capacity for the duration of the storm. Public Works crews placed high water signs at 38 locations in Western St. Tammany.

St. Tammany Parish has received several reports of homes taking on water. If your home experienced flooding, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper mourns the loss of former Lt. Governor James “Jimmy” Fitzmorris, Jr.

“While many of us will remember his leadership and service, when I think of Jimmy, I’ll remember his compassionate friendship and desire to put others before self,” said Cooper. “Jimmy was an honest, hard-working gentleman in the truest sense of the word. Not to be paled by his service, his life and love for others is a testament to his faith as a devout Catholic. Please join me and Catherine in praying for his daughter, Lisa, and the Fitzmorris and Clement families.”

Fitzmorris spent much of his adult life serving the people of Louisiana and the United States, as a U.S. Army World War II veteran and dedicated elected leader. In addition to serving the citizens of New Orleans as City Councilman, Fitzmorris led the state of Louisiana as Lt. Governor and Senate President.

Fitzmorris, 99, passed away Wednesday in Slidell.

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St. Tammany Parish Announces In-Person New Directions 2040 “Future Growth” Workshops

St. Tammany Parish Announces In-Person New Directions 2040 “Future Growth” Workshops

St. Tammany Parish, LA – St. Tammany Parish is announcing the details of upcoming Future Growth Workshops, the latest phase of public involvement opportunities for New Directions 2040 - the update to the Parish’s comprehensive plan. These three, in-person events will present three different growth scenarios for future development, as well as results from the Visioning phase of the project. St. Tammany residents will learn how different forms of new development will impact traffic, costs of public services and infrastructure, and the environment. Project staff will be available to record attendees’ opinions about each potential future.

The three in-person workshops will be in an “open house” format, in which peoples are free to attend at their convenience. Free refreshments and children’s activities will be provided. RSVPs are encouraged but not required to attend.

 

Friday, June 25
Slidell Towers, 1st floor meeting room
520 Old Spanish Trail SUITE 2F, Slidell, LA 70458
2 PM - 6 PM
RSVP at https://fb.me/e/ZSRXpyhO

Saturday, June 26
Castine Center, Pelican Park
63350 Pelican Dr, Mandeville, LA 70448
10 AM - 2 PM
RSVP at https://fb.me/e/Rq8cdEcS

Sunday, June 27
Coquille Park Recreation Center
13505 LA-1085, Covington, LA 70433
11 AM - 3 PM
RSVP at https://fb.me/e/1k4SNPWOG

The aim of the comprehensive plan update is to achieve resilient, sustainable guidelines for future growth in St. Tammany. The project’s expected to be completed in late 2021. More project information about the project is available at www.newdirections2040.com, including additional opportunities to provide public comments and view previous, online meetings.

To subscribe to project updates, please register to the project newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/heQOrv.

 

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ST. TAMMANY PARISH GOVERNMENT OFFERS UPDATE ON TROPICAL STORM CLAUDETTE

ST. TAMMANY PARISH GOVERNMENT OFFERS UPDATE ON TROPICAL STORM CLAUDETTE
ST. TAMMANY, La. – St. Tammany Parish Government provides essential information regarding Tropical Storm Claudette.

St. Tammany Parish, specifically Slidell, received more than 10 inches of rain overnight, per the National Weather Service.

As a result, roadways and several homes were inundated, requiring high water rescue operations. As of Saturday morning, although water has receded, roadways and communities are still experiencing high water.

Drivers are encouraged to stay home, if possible, until conditions have improved. Never travel through flooded roads or drive around high water signs.

Emergency crews are currently working to assess the damage.

Sandbags are available at the following locations:

  • • Fritchie Barn – 63119 Highway 1090, Pearl River
  • • Covington Barn – 1305 N. Florida St., Covington
  • • St. Tammany Administrative Complex, Bldg. C – 21410 Koop Drive, Mandeville

The sandbags are self-service. Residents are asked to bring their own shovels, in the event that all provided shovels are in use. Sandbags are limited to 15 per vehicle.

In addition, the following locations, which were closed out of precaution, are now open:

  • • Tammany Trace
  • • Bayou Lacombe Bridge
  • • Camp Salmen
  • • Northshore Beach
  • • Kids Konnection Playground

St. Tammany Parish Government will advise when those locations reopen.

Residents are asked to subscribe to Alert St. Tammany by clicking here, so you may receive emergency messages and alerts, in addition to monitoring stpgov.org and St. Tammany Parish social media channels. Citizens are also encouraged to stay up-to-date and follow guidance from the National Weather Service and local media.

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Parish President Cooper joined by Governor Edwards and Archbishop Aymond to break ground on the Safe Haven Training and Education Center

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the Training and Education Center at the Safe Haven Campus was held Friday, May 21, 2021.  In attendance was Governor John Bel Edwards, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Parish President Mike Cooper, Safe Haven Foundation Chairman Jack Donahue and other state and local elected officials and community leaders.

The purpose of the Safe Haven Training and Education Center, which is estimated to cost $850,000.00, is to destigmatize behavioral health, as well as provide a state-of- the-art meeting and conference space. The training opportunities will help the community to better understand behavioral health issues. Additionally, the facility will raise awareness and build a community of hope for those living with behavioral health illnesses, their family, friends, and those working in the behavioral field.

President Cooper began the ceremony with his opening remarks, noting that earlier in the month he gave a proclamation declaring May 2021 as Mental Health Awareness Month throughout St. Tammany Parish.

“Our goal is to increase our citizenry’s understanding of mental health and to promote treatment and knowledge within our community,” said President Cooper.  “The Safe Haven Training and Education Center will serve as a central location for our healthcare workers, peer support, and family support to come and learn, and to destigmatize mental health.”

The National Alliance on Mental Illness St. Tammany is also expected to utilize the Training and Education Center through approximately 120 meetings annually, serving more than 550 people. The anticipated trainings include, but are not limited to NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group, NAMI Family Support Group, Family-to-Family meetings, Peer-to-Peer sessions and Mental Health First Aid.

“Today we ask Your blessings on this project of Safe Haven, which will train people to offer healing of mind, body and spirit,” said Archbishop Gregory Aymond during the invocation.

“We need a Safe Haven more now than ever before,” said Governor Edwards.  “The pandemic has challenged us in a lot of ways, but mental health needs have been particularly acute during the pandemic.  This center is going to serve as a Training facility that will help the community to better understand behavioral health issues, and also foster a community of hope.”

The Center is the first new construction on the Safe Haven Campus since the 1970’s.  President Cooper’s Administration plans to continue expansion on the campus, “in order to grow with the community’s needs.”

“Safe Haven Is our beacon of light for all of our community,” commented Safe Haven Foundation Board Chairman Jack Donahue.

President Cooper then took the time to thank the 22nd Judicial Court, Sherriff’s Office, Coroner’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, Ochsner, St. Tammany Health System, Slidell Memorial, NAMI St. Tammany, and Florida Parishes Human Services Authority for their participation on the project.

The Safe Haven Training and Education Center is scheduled to be completed in the Winter of 2022.  The Safe Haven mission is to “provide a collaborative healing environment for the behavioral health continuum by creating a high-quality, coordinated, sustainable and humane network of care anchored in St. Tammany Parish.”

For more information about the Safe Haven Campus, please visit www.safehavenstp.org

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  • Administrative Complex
    21490 Koop Dr.
    Mandeville, LA 70471
    985.898.2700

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    8:00am to 4:30pm