Louisiana WIC and Coronavirus: What Participants Need to Know

Louisiana WIC has enacted their disaster plan. Under this plan:

  • Most WIC clinics are still open. Due to current COVID-19 precautions, LA WIC clinics are allowing participants and/or caregivers to stay in their vehicles for appointments. Your information will be collected over the phone and a member of the staff will come out to your vehicle. Please bring your ID, WIC EBT card and all other required documentation.

    IMPORTANT: If you or anyone in your family have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, please call your WIC clinic and reschedule your appointment.

  • Only one member of the family needs to be present to sign documents and receive their EBT card. If WIC participants are unable to pick up or use their benefits because they or another family member are under quarantine (voluntary or involuntary), they can choose someone else (a proxy) to pick up or use WIC benefits on their behalf. Ideally, the WIC participant will sign a form to approve this person as their proxy. If a form cannot be signed, WIC staff can get the participant’s verbal permission over the phone. The person/proxy who goes to the appointment should provide his or her proof of identity.
  • Health history, height, weight, and bloodwork will NOT be collected, at any appointments.
  • WIC staff will issue participants the maximum benefits allowable (up to 4 months of benefits).
  • Participants are encouraged complete online nutrition education at WICHealth.org. For participants that are able to come to the clinic in person, or send a proxy, take-home print materials are also available.
  • WIC-approved grocery stores are restocking as quickly as possible. Please continue to check back for WIC-approved items. For a list of select store hours, visit COVID-19 Select Retailers Hours of Operation.
  • As the situation develops, participants can find out about any new clinic closures at LouisianaWIC.org

Here’s some other changes participants need to know:

Group Education: When participants come into the clinic for a Group Education appointment, staff will load the maximum allowed benefits to the card. However, clinics may choose to cancel group education/classes in an effort to minimize close physical contact. Staff will provide individual counseling as necessary and encourage participants to complete online Nutrition Education classes at WIChealth.org.

Lactation (Breastfeeding) Counseling: WIC staff have been encouraged to call participants prior to their appointment and complete breastfeeding counseling over the phone if possible.

Breast pumps: Participants that need a breast pump at this time will only be issued a single-user or manual pump. These pumps are for individual use only. For the safety of their babies, it’s important that breastfeeding moms keep their pumps clean. Information about how to do that is available from the CDC’s website.

If a WIC participant is concerned about their appointment or benefits for any reason, they should call their clinic to see what the clinic can do to support them.  

March 20, 2020