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City, State Officials Reopen UNO Lakefront Arena for Drive-Thru COVID-19 Vaccines, Testing

Earlier this month, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), in partnership with the Louisiana National Guard (LANG), the City of New Orleans, and the University of New Orleans, made a third drive-thru site in the New Orleans area available to provide free COVID-19 vaccines and testing six days a week.

 The University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena parking lot in Gentilly once again serves as a COVID-19 testing and vaccine site. Vaccines and testing will also continue to be offered Monday through Saturday at the Mahalia Jackson Theater parking lot in Treme and at Harold MacDonald Sr. Park on the Westbank. 

“As we experience the fourth and most severe surge of COVID-19 in Louisiana, we must take a multi-pronged approach to combat the virus,” said New Orleans Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno. “I’m grateful to LDH and LANG for their continued dedication to helping New Orleans residents fight the virus.” 

Vaccine administration and testing will be done in separate areas on each site, so residents must indicate to the personnel which service they are requesting upon arrival. No pre-registration is needed for vaccines

Individuals are encouraged to pre-register online for testing. Tests at these sites are the self-administered, PCR non-invasive nasal swab variety and results are typically provided within two to four days. Per Gov. Edwards’ emergency order, anyone who suspects they have been exposed should get tested immediately, regardless of vaccination status. 

Transportation is available to all of these sites, including Uber rides up to $35 in value in each direction. To request a free Uber, use the code 10MVNOLA in the Uber app or call 3-1-1 (504-658-2299). Lyft is also offering free rides to vaccine sites, which can be accessed at lyft.com/vaccine-access. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority provides public transportation near the Mahalia Jackson and UNO sites.

No identification or insurance is required to access a vaccine or a test at these sites. Both testing and vaccines are free of charge.  

Sites and Schedules: 

UNO Lakefront Area Parking Lot, 6801 Franklin Ave.

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday (evening hours may fluctuate based on events at the arena) 

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday 

Mahalia Jackson Theater Parking Lot, 1419 Basin St. 

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday 

Harold MacDonald Sr. Park, 900 Drake Ave. 

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday 

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday 

Testing and vaccines are also available at numerous pharmacies and clinics in New Orleans, including NOELA in New Orleans East. To view vaccine sites, visit ready.nola.gov/vaccine. To view testing sites, visit ready.nola.gov/testing.  

The Hip-Hop Prez Will Leave DU at the End of 2021-2022 School Year

Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough has informed the Board of Trustees that the 2021-2022 school year will be his last as leader of the 152-year-old historically Black institution of higher learning. Entering his 10th year at the helm of Dillard, President Kimbrough has led the University to unprecedented growth.

“Walter is an innovative leader who has made an indelible impact on Dillard University,” said alumnus and board chairman Michael D. Jones. “His commitment to our mission has resulted in significant growth financially, academically, and in the community. I am excited about Dillard’s future as we enter this next era of leadership.”

Getting a $160 million loan from the federal government forgiven is among Kimbrough’s most significant accomplishments. The loan forgiveness was a transformational transaction that paved the way for significant endowment growth. During his tenure, the endowment grew by more than 115 percent, with it now exceeding $100 million and placing it among the top endowments among all historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Alumni giving grew exponentially over the past nine years. Through increased engagement, Dillard went from 4 percent alumni giving to 23 percent, placing the University in the top tier of all colleges and universities nationwide.

Dillard’s academic profile has increased with the introduction of two signature programs, physics and film studies, and the restructuring of its nursing school to the College of Nursing. Dillard is the third-highest producer of African American undergraduate physics degrees in the United States. The University has also seen increases in its retention and graduation rates since 2012.

According to Jones, the Board of Trustees will immediately begin the process to find its eighth president.

Having recently received a 10-year re-accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Kimbrough will leave Dillard in a strong position for continued growth.