NEW ORLEANS—Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, leadership at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) New Orleans Office of Field Operations (OFO) has taken a multi-layered approach to ensuring employee safety as they fulfill CBP's critical national security mission.
“CBP goes to great lengths to ensure our frontline officers are trained and equipped with proper personal protection gear so they can complete their border security mission in a safe working environment,” said Steven Stavinoha, CBP New Orleans’ Director of Field Operations. “Because of the unprecedented efforts taken by CBP to ensure a healthy workforce, legitimate international travel and trade have continued across the five-state area as we continue to support our economic prosperity.”
In line with guidance issued by the CDC and the White House Administration, CBP New Orleans continues to practice social distancing by reducing staffing where possible to minimize COVID-19 exposure. Currently, uniformed officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents who must report for duty have been given ready access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including sanitizer, nitrile gloves and N95 respirators, as well as comprehensive guidance on their use. Additionally, alternative work schedules were implemented to prevent a large number of employees working together in units.
All CBP employees have access to an online resource portal for up-to-date health and safety information, in addition to public updates on the CBP homepage. Among other information, the resource portal contains risk exposure guidance, job-specific PPE guidelines, workforce support resources, CDC prevention guidance, and video and written updates from CBP leadership.
The CBP New Orleans Office of Field Operations and USBP New Orleans Sector are located in the historic Custom House on Canal Street in New Orleans. The New Orleans Air and Marine Operations Branch, located in Hammond, LA, continues its maritime border, with offices located in Houma, LA, and Gulfport, MS. All offices remain in operation and still work jointly with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners.