Louisiana Family Forum Helpful Resources for COVID-19
(Check back often as this will be updated as information becomes available)
Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a “stay at home” order for the state which began on March 23, 2020 and will extend until April 30, 2020. Only essential businesses can continue operating and all unnecessary medical procedures are canceled until the order expires.
The Governor’s orders are in addition to President Trump’s social distancing guidelines which are now in effect until April 30, 2020.
The Louisiana 211 Network is available to answer questions about coronavirus. You can access the network by dialing 2-1-1 from any phone.
President Trump has delayed the October 1, 2020 implementation date of the Real ID for another year. This is especially important since state Offices of Motor Vehicles are now closed for the shutdown. Real ID may eventually be necessary for domestic travel and to enter Federal buildings.
THE CARES ACT
On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into a law a bill to help the American people and American businesses deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some provisions in the recent CARES Act which is designed to help individuals, families and businesses:
- A one-time tax rebate check of $1200 for individuals, $2400 for married couples, and $500 for dependent children, subject to income limits.
- Expands unemployment insurance to contract workers, self-employed and non-profit employees who are not normally covered under unemployment insurance.
- SBA-backed loans for small businesses and non-profits. Loans taken by small businesses to keep employees on payroll may be forgiven.
- Expanded loans and grants for large job creators.
- Direct funding to states, cities and localities to help in fighting the pandemic.
LFF stands ready to defend our God-given and constitutional right to assemble, pray publicly, and worship freely and will send an alert when these essential rights have actually been threatened. These are challenging times for us all. LFF will continue to work closely with public officials and pastors, who both share a God-given responsibility for public safety, health, and service to those in need. Please know that even though the Church has left the building, its mission moves forward unimpeded.
While travel to and from church is technically an “essential activity” under the Governor’s order, churches are still subject to the requirement for gatherings to be no more than ten people. In keeping with the spirit of his order and in the interest of protecting the health and safety of members and of those with whom the members will come in contact, it is advisable to avoid gatherings of congregations with more than 10 people in attendance at a time. There are many creative ways to continue communication with church members and to share the gospel and worship.
What options are available for remote worship services?
- Video conferencing with Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts.
- Live or recorded video streaming on your website or YouTube — Example use: Worship services.
- Facebook Live — Example use: Midweek bible study teaching.
- Conference Calls — Free accounts available at freeconferencecall.com.
It is important to continue to support families in their darkest hour, the loss of a loved one, by encouraging families to have funerals as soon as possible – adhering to the 10 person or less executive order guidance.
Louisiana Family Forum is participating in a massive effort called UNITE714 to encourage prayer during this difficult time, uniting churches, pastors, leaders, and individuals across the globe to pray for a miraculous healing of our land from the coronavirus and a spiritual awakening among the nations. Please join us in prayer.
Even though most churches are not having congregation face-to-face meetings, this is an excellent time to BE THE CHURCH! Check out these ideas from Family Research Council.
Focus on the Family has published some excellent resources on dealing with this crisis as a family and helping children cope.
We are all homeschoolers for now!
The Louisiana Department of Education has a website with pertinent information, including locations which are providing meals to go for children.
The Louisiana Board of Regents has information for college and university students, including how to access online learning.
Need WIFi? Louisiana’s public library are making their WiFi available, free of charge, outside of their buildings. Just walk or drive up and you can jump online. Here is a map of local libraries.
The Louisiana Department of Economic Development has a website to help businesses during this difficult time.
At the federal level, the government has been focusing on shoring up major industry segments as well as rescuing small businesses. The CARES Act provides both.
The Louisiana Presidential Primary originally scheduled for April 4, 2020 has been rescheduled for June 20, 2020. More information is available on the Louisiana Secretary of State website.
HEALTH and SAFETY
See this helpful set of guidelines from the Louisiana Department of Health concerning how to stop from spreading the virus. Most important is proper hygiene through hand washing and “social distancing.”
- Louisiana Department of Health Corona Virus Information
- Important Information from the Governor’s Office
- CDC COVID-19 Information
- CDC COVID-19 Information in Spanish
The federal government is encouraging, as much as possible, the use of telemedicine to allow access to healthcare workers without jeopardizing safety of workers or patients.