Updated March 19, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m.
Released March 13, 2020
The worldwide spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has understandably raised concerns for many. We want to be as proactive as possible to protect the health of our staff, volunteers, and clients.
Due to the increasing concerns with the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, we will be closing STAR’s New Orleans office beginning Monday, March 16th at 12pm. Our Baton Rouge office will close at 12pm on Tuesday, March 17th and Alexandria will close at 5pm on Tuesday, March 17th. Services to clients will be provided remotely via phone and video conferencing.
Below is a comprehensive list of our services that are being provided at this time.
- Hotline: Our hotline is running as usual. Individuals can still reach our hotline for support by phone 24/7 at 1-855-435-STAR.
- Hospital/Medical Advocacy: We have suspended our in-person hospital accompaniment services until further notice. Survivors at the hospital will have the opportunity to connect with an advocate over the phone. We have notified all of our SANE and hospital partners about this change and provided them with our staff back-up phone number to connect the survivor with the advocate.
- Case Management: Survivors currently receiving case management will continue receiving services remotely, either online or by phone. Survivors who are requesting new services will go through a phone intake and connected to a staff member.
- Court Accompaniment: Due to court closures, we are not providing accompaniment to court at this time.
- Individual Counseling: Survivors currently receiving individual counseling services will continue receiving services remotely, either online or by phone. Survivors who are requesting new services will go through a phone intake and added to our waitlist.
- Group Counseling: We are maintaining some group counseling via teleconference at this time. We are looking into video conferencing as a possibility.
- Legal Intake/Representation: Survivors currently receiving legal representation will continue receiving services remotely, either online or by phone. Survivors who are requesting new services will go through a phone intake and connected to a staff member.
Education and Outreach Services
- Adult and Youth Education: We have suspended in-person educational sessions with adults and youth at this time due to organization and school closures.
- Community Outreach & Events: We have suspended all outreach at this time.
Depending on how COVID-19 evolves, we may alter our services further to ensure the safety of our STAR team. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) websites are helpful sources of information. The LDH website states that the risk to the general public is low and that so far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions. At the same time, it is a responsibility of all of us to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, so we plan to take precautionary measures as best we can to maintain services while protecting our staff and clients from exposure to this illness. Our plan is to stay calm, monitor updates, and take recommended actions as needed and as the situation develops in our service areas.