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Ochsner Lafayette General is committed to keeping our patients informed and safe when it comes to COVID-19. To help our community avoid further infection, we will keep this page updated with the most current information on the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes. To view more information related to the vaccine, please see our vaccine page.

What is Ochsner Lafayette General's current visitor policy?

We continue to monitor the risk of COVID-19 closely and will adjust visitor restrictions as necessary. We appreciate your help in keeping our patients and employees safe. See our most up-to-date visitor policy here.

All essential visitors are required to wear masks throughout the building.
All visitors must be 18 years old or older AND asymptomatic.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19—an abbreviation which means coronavirus disease 2019—is the disease caused by a new virus that’s a member of the coronavirus family. Similar to illnesses like SARS and MERS, COVID-19 (and the novel strain of coronavirus that causes it) is suspected to have originated from animal-to-person contact. 

There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that cause mild upper-respiratory tract infections like the common cold. COVID-19 is a new illness caused by a new coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. 

How Does COVID-19 spread?

Infection has progressed to community spread, which means people can now contract the virus without knowing how or where they became exposed. As of now, we know the virus can spread through respiratory droplets suspended in the air, which can cause infection by being inhaled into the lungs or brought into contact with the mouth, nose or eyes. This is why wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand washing are essential to avoiding exposure.

What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

Reported cases have ranged from mild to severe, and even death for some whose immune systems were already compromised. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • New, onset cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of smell and/or taste

Ochsner's Commitment to Your Safety

As part of our enduring commitment to the health and safety of our patients and care teams, Ochsner Health requires COVID-19 vaccinations of all of our employees, physicians and anyone involved in patient care. The safety and effectiveness of the vaccines is proven. We join physicians, researchers and global healthcare leaders who consistently agree that the safe, effective vaccines available to us prevent death, hospitalization and severe disease.

How Do I Protect Myself from COVID-19?

There is no current vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best prevention is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The following are simple steps you and your family can take to prevent illness:

  • Clean Hands Often: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid Close Contact with Sick People: Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at a higher risk of getting very sick, such as those who are immunocompromised, elderly or have a chronic respiratory condition. 
  • Limit Exposure to Children: Although most children seem to develop mild cases, there is suspicion that they might carry the virus without showing symptoms. 
  • Avoid Spreading Personal Germs: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an effective hand sanitizer.
  • Clean and Disinfect: Wipe down frequently touched surfaces daily with disinfectant. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

Below you can find links that lead to additional information about the virus, steps to take for prevention and how we’re prepared across our health system: