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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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Newly Named Petco Love Invests in Lifesaving Work of St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services

Grant of $25,000 will help save more pet lives in St. Tammany Parish

Lacombe, LA (May 12, 2021) — St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services announced today a $25,000 grant investment from the newly named, Petco Love, to support their lifesaving work for animals in St. Tammany Parish

Petco Love is a nonprofit leading change for pets nationally by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since their founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, they’ve empowered organizations with $300 million invested to date in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And, they’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations, like ours, nationwide. 

“Today Petco Love announces an investment in St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services and hundreds of other organizations as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Love. “Our local investments are only one component. This month, we also launched the first of our national tools to empower all animal lovers to drive lifesaving change right alongside us.”

“We are thrilled to be beneficiaries of the Petco Love grant investment. While working through the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult at times, here at the Department of Animal services, we make the lives of the animals in our care a top priority. This grant will help us continue providing aid to the animals in our community,” said Penny Brunies, Assistant Director, Animal Services.

For more information about St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services, visit www.stpgov.org/pets.  To learn more about Petco Love, visit petcolove.org

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First Quarter Numbers Are in for St. Tammany Parish Department of Animal Services

The Live Release Rate for the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter is 96% for the first quarter of 2021.  The Live Release rate, according to the ASPCA, is “… an indication of the number of animals leaving a facility by means other than euthanasia or in‐shelter death. Live outcomes are usually achieved through adoption, reclaimed by owner, transferred to another agency or other life‐saving actions.”  In the month of March, the Animal Shelter achieved a new record for their Live Release Rate at 98%. 

This exceptional rate was achieved through a coordinated effort by Shelter staff to facilitate shelter adoptions, work with credible compassionate rescue groups to pull animals for adoption, or transport animals for adoption to other locations in the United States where there is a shortage of adoptable animals.

“Animal Services has made tremendous improvements over the last year,” said Parish President Mike Cooper.  “Our dedicated staff has worked so hard to ensure the best outcome for each animal that arrives at the Shelter.  Even in the face of a global pandemic, our team has made the lives of our animals a priority, and I am proud of their achievements.”

A more user-friendly landing page for Animal Services — www.stpgov.org/pets — now includes all shelter intake and outcome statistics as well as current partner rescue groups. More features will be added in the future.

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Parish President Mike Cooper Eases Mask Requirements for St. Tammany Parish

Parish President Mike Cooper Eases Mask Requirements for St. Tammany Parish

On Tuesday, April 27, 2021, Governor John Bel Edwards announced his decision to ease some of the restrictions of the statewide mask mandate, leaving decisions regarding stricter masking policies to local governments.  President Cooper made the decision to opt out of the mask mandate by signing an Executive Order further modifying and easing Phase III restrictions.  Starting Wednesday, April 28, 2021, masks will no longer be required, with the exception of mandates remaining under the Governor’s Order.

“St. Tammany Parish will be no more restrictive with our masking policies than Governor Edwards’ Executive Order,” said President Cooper.  “As we progress, it is important that our citizens continue taking the necessary safety precautions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  This is great for our community and our local businesses, but it does not mean we are out of the woods yet.  My top priority is to keep us moving forward by balancing the health of our community with the health of our economy.” 

St. Tammany Parish is among the parishes with the highest vaccination rates in the state, and has seen sustained decreases in percent positivity rates, currently at 1.9 percent (LDH). 

 

As per the Governor’s Executive Order, mandates will remain for: K-12 schools, colleges and universities, public transit, many state government buildings, and health care facilities.  Masks are still encouraged for those who wish to wear them.

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St. Tammany Parish Government and Partner Agencies Offer Another Tool in Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

St. Tammany Parish Government and Partner Agencies Offer Another Tool in Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announced today that St. Tammany Parish Government, in collaboration with St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston, has secured 1980 kits containing two 4mg doses of the opioid antagonist NARCAN for cost-free pick up by citizens at fire stations throughout St. Tammany, and at Florida Parishes Human Services Authority offices.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith; St. Tammany Parish Fire District #1 Chief Chris Kaufmann; Florida Parishes Human Services Executive Director Richard Kramer; and Dan Schneider, Advocate and subject of the Netflix Documentary The Pharmacist, joined President Cooper and Coroner Preston to make the announcement this morning with the St. Tammany Parish 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery and  22nd Judicial Specialty Court Judges -------- standing in support of this collaborative initiative. This distribution — the first phase of a two-phase initiative in the fight against the ongoing Opioid Epidemic— was made possible through a competitive grant — the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program — from the Bureau of Justice Administration. 

“The Opioid Epidemic is real and it is crippling to the families who face it every single day. We are committed to our fight against this dreaded addiction. The Louisiana Department of Health reports that in 2019, St. Tammany Parish had the second highest number of Opioid-involved deaths in the State of Louisiana,” President Cooper said. “While NARCAN is not a solution to addiction, it does offer citizens a second chance to save their loved one’s life, to start them on the path to recovery through treatment. We are proud to facilitate this program and grateful to all involved stakeholders who will make this life-saving effort a reality.”

“There are often times when our deputies arrive on a scene, prior to EMS. When someone is overdosing and time is of the essence, this tool (NARCAN) gives our deputies the ability to immediately render aid and potentially save lives,” said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith. “NARCAN will not prevent a person from using drugs in the future, but it gives them a fighting chance to have a future where they can make better decisions and ultimately get the help they need to fight their addiction.”

“NARCAN can transform a tragic death into the chance for a new life,” said Dr. Charles Preston, St. Tammany Parish Coroner.

“NARCAN may give you a chance at life, but a recovery program can save your life,” said Chief Chris Kaufmann, St. Tammany Fire District #1. “Together we can make a difference.”

“We commend President Cooper for taking this step to help protect the lives of people in our community and are thankful that he has asked us to be a partner in this initiative,” said Richard Kramer, Executive Director, Florida Parishes Human Services. 

“Treat every overdose person as if it was your child. NARCAN can give them a chance at recovery and a future,” said The Pharmacist, Dan Schneider

Beginning Thursday, April 29, 2021, citizens may visit fire stations throughout St. Tammany Parish to pick up kits containing two 4mg doses of NARCAN with administration instructions. The doses have a three-year shelf life. The kits are free and no questions are asked. Citizens will be asked to sign a waiver indicating they received instructions on how to administer the life-saving drug. Officials stress that people who administer NARCAN to an overdose victim should immediately seek medical attention for them through 9-1-1. The Good Samaritan Law protects individuals who seek emergency help during an overdose, even if they too are involved in illegal drug use at the time of the life-saving call to first responders.

The second phase of this initiative will focus on recovery and treatment resources. The total expenditure for grant fulfillment during Phase I for the outreach and packaging materials as well as the NARCAN purchase was $169,500. Plans for Phase II will be announced in the coming months. The distribution of NARCAN will continue until all kits are depleted.

For a map of pickup locations, please visit www.stpgov.org/NARCAN

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

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    Monday through Friday
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