Proof of COVID vaccination or negative test is now required in Orleans Parish to enter certain locations
As a way of trying to stop the spread of COVID-19, Orleans Parish now requires people to either show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours or provide proof of at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. This requirement is targeting anyone 12 years of age or older if you are going into certain establishments, such as:
- INDOOR DINING
- Breweries, microbreweries, distilleries & micro-distilleries
- INDOOR FITNESS
- Indoor group fitness centers or individual fitness classes
- INDOOR ENTERTAINMENT & PERFORMANCE SPACES
- Indoor sports complexes, stadiums, and arenas (including Caesars Superdome and Smoothie King Center)
- Concert & music halls
- Event spaces such as hotel ballrooms, event venues, and reception halls
- Pool halls, bowling alleys, indoor play centers, arcades, skating rinks, and indoor playgrounds
- Adult live performance venues
- Casinos, racetracks & video poker establishments
- Indoor amusement facilities
- LARGE OUTDOOR EVENTS
- Outdoor events of more than 500 people if total attendance is more than 50% of the outdoor venue's capacity
Proof can be presented digitally or with a hard copy
Thanks to technology, there are different ways you can show proof of your vaccination status that will make it convenient as you go about your business:
- Take a photo of both sides of your vaccine card with your smartphone. As a reminder, though, do NOT post a photo of your card on social media as it should be treated like a social security card.
- Another option is to enroll in LA Wallet, a smartphone app that keeps a digital representation of your current Louisiana-issues state ID or driver's license. LA Wallet can also display digital COVID-19 vaccination verification for those who opt-in. The app will display your COVID-19 vaccination status through a secure and confidential relationship with the Louisiana Department of Health called LINKS, a HIPAA-compliant solution set by principles outlined in the Vaccine Credential Initiative. Specific information on how to link to your vaccine status is available on the app.
- If you prefer to carry your vaccine card, protect it in a plastic sleeve so that it doesn’t get wet or damaged
- Early in the vaccination process, many people were laminating their card, but that is not encouraged unless you have a copy of your card for safekeeping. The reasoning is that there is now talk of people needing a booster vaccine, and if that is to occur, your vaccine card will need to be updated, so it’s vital you have a hard copy that can be updated. If you have laminated your only copy, you can request a new paper card to update your vaccination status.
- If you have a child, you will need to keep a copy of their card as well. It’s also advised that you make sure your child’s pediatrician and school have a copy on file.
New guidelines are prompting a lot of questions, and we have some answers
If I’ve lost my card, how can I get a replacement?
If you've lost or never received a vaccine card, the CDC recommends contacting the site where you received your first shot. If you're unable to contact your original vaccine provider, try your state's health department's Immunization Information System (IIS). Vaccine providers must report all COVID vaccinations to the state, and for those in Louisiana, you can access that information here.
What if I received my vaccine in another state?
For your COVID vaccination record to show up in your LA Wallet app, your information must be entered into the Louisiana Immunization Network, LINKS. To have this done, you can visit a Parish Health Unit – bring your card – and the staff there can access LINKS and enter your COVID vaccination. A list of parish health units can be found here.
Where do I go if I need to get a COVID-19 test?
West Jefferson Medical Center and its parent company, LCMC Health, are offering free COVID-19 testing. You can find more information here, or call the Health Nurse Hotline at 504-386-3174 for details about COVID-19 testing at LCMC Health or visit NOLA Ready for testing locations throughout Greater New Orleans.
About Dr. Falguni Patel:
After completing her Bachelor's of Science at Louisiana State University (LSU), Dr. Patel attended medical school at Ross University School of Medicine, followed by her completion of her Internal Medicine training at LSU Lafayette. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been practicing hospital medicine for the past 3 years at West Jefferson Medical Center.