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New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to Host First COVID-19 Community Vaccination Site

Dubbed “Operation: Be in That Number,” the site will be the first of its type developed for the Greater New Orleans Region

NEW ORLEANS — In a vital step to help battle the spread of COVID-19, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is partnering with LCMC Health to host the first large community site to provide COVID-19 vaccines to residents of the Greater New Orleans area.

“LCMC Health is here to create a healthier community and with the availability of community vaccines we are doing that across our six hospitals,” said Gregory C. Feirn, Chief Executive Officer of LCMC Health. “We appreciate the support of FEMA, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, our city and state leaders, and our residents as we continue to rollout COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the New Orleans area. We want to assure the community that when more vaccines are available, we are ready to offer them in mass quantity.”

This site at the convention center will have the capacity to vaccinate hundreds of residents each day when vaccines are readily available, eventually ramping up to thousands of recipients daily, increasing the efficiency and speed of vaccine distribution throughout the region.

Vaccine distribution will be managed through the current phased, tiered approach established by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). Currently, vaccinations are available to Louisiana residents who meet the criteria for what is referred to as “Phase 1A and Phase 1B.” These groups include frontline healthcare workers, nursing home and long-term care communities’ residents and staff, teachers school personnel, day care personnel, home health providers, pregnant persons, law enforcement personnel, persons ages 65 and above, and persons ages 55 – 65 years of age with one of the underlying medical conditions as listed by the CDC.

As more vaccines become available from the CDC and LDH opens the criteria further, more individuals and groups will be offered a vaccination.

“The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is at the heart of the community and an important economic engine for the City and State. We are gratified to see that this great facility will be used to help promote good health to the resilient people of this region. We are pleased to partner with LCMC Health to move this initiative forward for our fellow citizens,” said Michael J. Sawaya, Convention Center President. “We are fortunate that all of the Convention Center employees have remained on the job throughout the last year, working hard to have the building prepared when events return. We look forward to getting back to business, and welcoming visitors in the coming months, and can see the days ahead when our guests will enjoy all the great things our city and hospitality industry has to offer.”

As a key economic driver for New Orleans and a main contributor to more than 24,000 direct and indirect local jobs, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is committed to ensuring all future meetings and events meet state, local and governmental health and safety guidelines.

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center achieved GBAC STAR™ accreditation through the Global BioRisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, augmenting the Center’s early initiatives to prepare for new standards driven by the pandemic. The program certifies that the facility is implementing the industry’s highest standards of cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention for infectious agents such as COVID-19 and is the leading standard of prepared facilities.

The Center is following the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA) guidance as well as all CDC protocols to clean and re-occupy the facility. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has instituted Post-Cleaning Verification (PCV) and incorporated the latest technology, among other protocols, with the guidance of an industrial hygienist and other medical professionals.


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