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Healthy donation: Central gets gifts of masks, PPE

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in communities across Louisiana, one Healthy Louisiana Medicaid plan has launched a back-to-school initiative to help fight the spread by providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to schools in Washington, Assumption, Calcasieu and Ascension parishes.

Louisiana Healthcare Connections gifted vital PPE — including hand sanitizer, cleaning products, masks and face shields — to help combat the spread of COVID-19 among approximately 1,500 students and staff at Central Elementary School in Bogalusa, Belle Rose Primary School in Donaldsonville, Oak Park Elementary in Lake Charles and Dutchtown Middle School in Geismar.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), as of Aug. 10, nearly 132,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported, and this number continues to rise every day. Washington Parish, home of Central Elementary School, had 1,265 confirmed cases on Aug. 10, while Calcasieu and Assumption parishes reported 6,815 and 584, respectively, according to the LDH. In Ascension Parish, 2,871 cases had been reported.

The PPE from Louisiana Healthcare Connections has been a welcome gift as schools in these parishes work carefully to plan a safe reopening for local students, according to the administrators.

“The safety and health of our students and staff is our top priority as we return back to school,” said Erin Galloway, assistant principal of Central Elementary School. “This PPE will help us create a safe and healthy back to school environment for our students and teachers.”

Louisiana Healthcare Connections has designated the safety of frontline workers as a priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The health plan has donated thousands of masks, face shields, hand sanitizers and care packages to nurses, hospitals, health systems and clinics across the state, and is pleased to expand those efforts to include educators and students as the school year begins.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, our schools need our commitment and support to provide personal protective equipment and essential supplies to help keep students and staff safe,” said Chelsea Graves, Community Relations Principal for Louisiana Healthcare Connections. “We are invested in doing our part to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our state, and are proud to equip our local schools with the proper resources to begin a productive and safe school year.”