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COVID-19 Task Force Activated by Attorney General Jeff Landry to Assist Louisiana Department of Health Enforcement Efforts

Task Force takes action on public health directives, including compliance of Louisiana abortion clinics

BATON ROUGE, LA - In an effort to help ensure the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) can remain focused on fighting the novel coronavirus in our state, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced today he has activated a new task force aimed at ensuring consistent enforcement of LDH’s public health directives.

“LDH and Interim Secretary Russo have requested our assistance with enforcing their important public health orders, such as those requiring the suspension of elective, non-emergency medical procedures,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Earlier today, the COVID-19 Task Force was activated in response to LDH referrals of possible violations, performing fact-finding examinations of several Louisiana facilities. The COVID-19 Task Force responded to the referrals of an endoscopy center in Shreveport, as well as outpatient abortion clinics in Shreveport and Baton Rouge.

“All instances of non-compliance with these important directives not only put patients and staff at risk, they also divert much needed Personal Protective Equipment away from the brave medical professionals currently treating Louisiana’s coronavirus patients,” added Landry. “My COVID-19 Task Force is ready for action and currently receiving referrals from LDH on possible violations. We are happy to be doing our part to protect the health and safety of all Louisianans by freeing up essential LDH resources and employees that are indispensable on the front-lines of this fight.”

The LDH notice 
applies equally statewide to all licensed medical facilities and medical professionals under LDH authority, and it orders the immediate postponement of all elective medical procedures and surgeries that are not necessary to treat an emergency medical condition or immediately necessary to prevent further harm to a patient.

The order follows guidance from the U.S. Center for Disease Control regarding elective surgeries at this time, and it is similar to orders by state health departments across the country.

Today marks the first day of affirmative actions by the new Task Force which will continue its activities throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency.