OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - Organizations, schools and others across NELA are addressing their plans moving forward in response to the coronavirus. These changes have been announced following Governor John Bel Edwards' safety proclamation in response to the coronavirus.
UPDATE: Gov. Edwards has issued a Stay at Home order in an effort to fight the spread. Expect all non-essential businesses to be closed through April 12. You can read the order here.
All public schools K-12 have been ordered closed by the governor's office. If you need to see what school districts are serving meals while closed, you can see one here.
• Caldwell Parish
The Caldwell Parish Library will be closed until further notice beginning March 19. Patrons can reserve book's on the library's website and they will be brought out to the table entry. They are still offering print, fax, and copy services and will bring them to patrons in the parking lot. If you have questions, call (318) 649-2259. All programming (including Story Time programming) and meetings will be canceled until further notice.
The Franklin Parish Main Library and the Wisner Branch will close at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 19, 2020, to the public until further notice. If patrons have special needs, they can call the Main Library between 8:30 and 12:00 at 318-435-4336 Monday through Friday or the Wisner Branch from 8:00 to 12:00 at 318-724-7399 on Tuesday and Thursday and speak with a staff member. Patrons are encouraged to use the Cloud Library to download eBooks. Anyone needing assistance setting up an account can call 318-435-4336.
All Ouachita Parish Public Library programming is suspended from March 16-31.
All branches are closed to the public until April 13.
The Library is waiving all overdue fines for items borrowed and/or due between March 13-April 13. Out of an abundance of caution, the Library is requesting that patrons not return currently borrowed items until further notice.
The Louisiana governor has ordered all gatherings of 250 people or more are ordered to be canceled through Monday, April 13, 2020.
Regional Medicaid Offices
The Louisiana Department of Health announced that they would be closing all Medicaid regional offices in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. You can always apply for or make changes to your Medicaid online at MyMedicaid.la.gov. You also can turn in information or documents by uploading them to your online account.
If you would rather mail your information to us, send it to the address below:
P.O. Box 91283
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Ouachita Parish Rifle Range
Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, the Ouachita Parish Rifle Range will be closed to the public. This precaution is being taken in accordance with the Governor’s Proclamation and the continuing efforts to protect the health of citizens and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The opening date will be assessed at a later time, the earliest being April 13, 2020.
City of Monroe
The Civic Center, Community Center & Zoo will be closed effective immediately at the end of the March 16 business day.
Town of Marion
The Town Hall office will be closed until further notice.
Office staff will be available during normal business hours to take phone calls and process payments through the night drop off location located on the left side of the police department.
Louisiana State Capitol
Beginning Thursday, March 19th through Monday, March 30th, the Louisiana State Capitol will be closed.
Louisiana Baptist Children's Home
All administrative offices on the Monroe campus will be closed from Saturday, March 21st through Sunday, April 5th. The Children’s Home will continue services for all children, young adults, and families in residence. The campus will be closed to visitors. Campus tours and church group activities will be rescheduled.
West Carroll Parish
The West Carroll Chamber of Commerce regretfully announces that the Inaugural Poverty Point World Heritage Festival has been canceled due to the risks of hosting public events due to COVID-19.
“As of the time this decision was made, the mandated social distancing directives are set to expire April 13.” Acting festival chairman Adam Holland said. “Yet there is also the strong possibility that this will be extended. Tonight we were at a pivotal point in the planning of the festival. If the trigger was not pulled now; we would have run the risk of spending thousands of chamber dollars with no return on investment if we were to have canceled at a later date. Though this is not a decision we wanted to make it was the best decision both economically and for public safety.”
The West Carroll Chamber Festival Committee is now shifting gears and beginning to work on the 10th Annual Lamb Weston North Louisiana Sweet Potato Festival slated to take place October 2-3 in Oak Grove.
Any vendor who had already paid for a vendor booth will be given the option of carrying the payment over to the Sweet Potato Festival or being issued a refund from the Chamber.
The mall has adjusted its daily hours from noon to 7 p.m. It will still close at 6 p.m. on Sundays. Read more here.
Sportsman's Paradise Consignment shop will close March 19 at 6 p.m. and reopen March 26 at 10 a.m.
All twenty commercial casinos in Louisiana are being shut for a period of two weeks to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the Louisiana Gaming Control Board said Monday. The closure will begin at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17.
On March 14, 2020, Entergy said they are temporarily suspending customer disconnects for the next 30 days as we continue to monitor the situation and may extend the period if necessary. Read more on their website here.
Greater Ouachita Water Company
GOWC has decided to suspend walk-up customer bill pay until further notice. You may still pay your bill by the following:
• Drop Box at the office located at 401 Thomas Rd. Suite 5, West Monroe
• Online at GreaterOuachita.org
• By mail at PO Box 2457, West Monroe, LA 71294
• Pay by phone – call 318-322-3741
• Sterlington Town Hall – Drive thru only
• Kiosks located at the following locations:
oo Mac’s Fresh Market 1427 Winnsboro Rd., Monroe
oo Mac’s Fresh Market 520 Lincoln Rd., Monroe
The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum
The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum will be closed for the week of March 16, 2020. While a week is planned right now, they say the closure could last longer than a week.
Day at the Lake in Richland Parish
The Richland Parish Sheriff's Office posted to their Facebook page: Sheriff Gary Gilley has announced with the outbreak of the Corona Virus spreading worldwide and with cases here in Louisiana, the annual Richland Parish Sheriff’s Office Triad, “Day At The Lake” which is held every May, has been cancelled out of an abundance of caution. Gilley stated, “With over 1500 of our seniors gathering in one spot to fellowship and eat, RPSO would not want to endanger the health and well being of our seniors. I regret having to cancel this long standing program but feel to protect the health of our seniors it is worth it. We are planning to reschedule the event in the fall.”
Fiske Theatre Closed
The Fiske Theatre in Oak Grove will be closed for the remainder of March.
Chick-fil-A is temporarily closing the dining room seating in its restaurants in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Get details here.
Ouachita Council on Aging's Shindig
The Ouachita Council on Aging announced Friday that they would be postponing their yearly "Shinding" fundraiser. A representative from the Council said that they will be postponing the event to a date not yet set. It was originally scheduled for March 20.
Ouachita Council on Aging
Ouachita Council on Aging, Carolyn Rose Strauss Senior Center, and our other 11 dining/activity sites will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17. There will be no congregate meals or meetings or activities at the Center or any of our sites. They announced they will resume normal operating hours on Monday, April 13th
Congregate Meals participants will be provided take-home meals each week. Hours for pick up will be 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
For a full list of their adjusted policies, click here.
Northeast Delta Human Services Authority's Faith Summit
Additionally, the Northeast Delta Human Services Authority announced they were postponing their Faith Summit. Event organizers shared a statement saying: "Given the large turnout anticipated for this event, Northeast Delta Human Services Authority is acting out of an abundance of caution regarding the emerging coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Due to the highly contagious nature of this illness, we have decided it is in the best interest of all participants and attendees to postpone this event until this illness is more controlled." The Summit was originally scheduled for March 26 but has been moved to June.
First West church in West Monroe
First West says services are being moved online. Read more about that here.
The City of West Monroe
Effective Tuesday, March 17, the following City facilities will be closed:
• West Ouachita Senior Center
• West Monroe Community Center
• The Rec
• City of West Monroe Utility Payment Center (located at City Hall)
Citizens can pay their monthly bill through these methods:
• By Mail
• By Dropbox at City Hall
• 24/7 Kiosk located in the City Hall parking lot
• Online payment at www.westmonroe.com
The Wellness Center will be closed for at least two weeks or until further notice beginning March 17.
The West Ouachita Public Transit will remain available to the public. Call (318) 397-3299 for more information about the Transit System.
Kiroli Park will continue to remain open to the public. Park attendees are encouraged to practice social distancing and CDC hygiene guidelines. Get the latest info on their Facebook page. All of the following park amenities will not be accessible: all playgrounds, tennis courts,
water fountains, shelters and all restrooms except the Tennis Court Restroom Facility.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
The West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce also announced the cancelation for the St. Patrick's Day Parade originally scheduled for Saturday, March 14.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) offices throughout the state will be closed to the public indefinitely beginning Tuesday, March 17.
Masur Museum of Art
To alleviate any additional public burden, LDWF is providing public alternatives to process applications via mail, email and online.
To access information for licenses, renweals, registrations and other applications, click here.
Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District will temporarily close its visitor centers, interpretive centers, field offices and select recreation site attractions across Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas to the public beginning March 19.
Riverwalk Casino • Hotel
Effective March 16, Riverwalk Casino • Hotel has suspended operations until further notice.