Covington—The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ Office of Public Health, Region 9, in conjunction with the LSU Lallie Kemp Medical Center and the St. Tammany and Washington Parish Offices of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) will be hosting a full-scale bioterrorism preparedness drill in Mandeville on Wednesday at various locations throughout the region.   

The goal of this exercise is to improve the region’s preparedness for a terrorist-caused event involving the use of a biological weapon of mass destruction. It will also work to foster partnerships, planning activities and coordination efforts among local emergency response agencies within the five-parish area. The drill will test the current strengths and weaknesses in response actions, reporting abilities and communications systems of the area, building upon a smaller scale drill that was conducted on May 5. Members of the state’s Bioterrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response Unit will be at the drill to give guidance and feedback. 

The media is invited to attend the exercises from 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. State and local public health officials, as well as local officials from law enforcement and emergency response will be on hand for interviews and video/photographs will be permitted at that time. For additional information, contact Melissa Walker at (225) 763-3558.

 What:              Region 9 Full-Scale Bioterrorism Preparedness Drill (MEDIA  PORTION)

 When:             Wednesday, June 4, 2003, 10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

 Where:            St. Tammany Parish Jail
                         1280 Champagne Street
                         Covington, Louisiana