ACECL Members,

ACECL offers our assistance as your company addresses the impacts of the COVID19 virus. At the state office we are open for business and monitoring news alerts and heeding the advice of public health experts in managing our individual risk. While we may adjust work schedules to accommodate staff and their families, I am available 24/7 via cell (225) 485-9818 or email. If you have specific questions about a scheduled event or client activities, please let me know. We are happy to facilitate. If you have information that would be beneficial to our Louisiana-based industry, please share. I also encourage you to sign up your staff for the HR, CIO or CFO Councils at ACECL (and national as well). This is a great resource for sharing information and seeking feedback from ACECL members facing the same issues. As I see good employer information relative to how to manage employee issues on the ACEC HR Council message board, I will share.

As you are all no doubt also experiencing, many meetings are being cancelled or held via conference call. We experienced the need to hastily arrange a virtual speaker for the New Orleans Chapter meeting this past week. To avoid the need to make last minute cancellations in April, we are planning to move the April NOLA Chapter meeting to May and will send an update as soon as we confirm a new date.

At this time, the ACEC Board of Governors is scheduled to meet March 20 and April 17.

We will confirm the April 22 Lake Charles meeting this week.

The Baton Rouge Mayor's office and ACECL sponsored Small Business Outreach workshop scheduled for March 13 has been postponed until further notice.

For those planning to attend the DHH staff presentation relative to proposed changes to the Consultant Selection Process on March 23 in Monroe and Shreveport, that presentation has also been postponed until further notice. I have requested a date for a NOLA based presentation but expect we will not be able to confirm at this time.

The Legislature has regularly scheduled meetings the week of March 16 but whether they suspend operations or adjourn early is being monitored.

At this time we are accepting registrations for the 2020 Emerging Leaders Class but will adjust the meeting dates if necessary.

The national ACEC staff is monitoring the situation relative to the 2020 ACEC Spring Conference and Legislative Summit. We will keep you posted as we receive information from national. For the present status please see the message below from ACEC President Linda Darr.

We are planning to issue the 2020 EEA Call for Entries on May 15 but will adjust the response due date if necessary to allow more time for submissions.

At this time the 2020 Deep South Convention scheduled for July 24-26 in Destin, Florida is still on. I continue regular contact with my colleagues in Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas and the hotel relative to contingency planning.

I encourage you to monitor the following websites for continuing developments and guidance:

LaWORKS (Department of Labor)


The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have a global impact affecting travel, commerce and daily life. The safety and well-being of our team, our members, and the engineering industry as a whole are foremost in our minds. 

ACEC is actively monitoring this rapidly developing situation across our departments. We are taking steps not only to serve as a resource for news and information, but also to collect information about how the coronavirus is impacting your business in order to share best practices and effectively advocate for your needs. 

We are in the process of developing a member survey to glean insights into industry impacts, best practices, and trends related to your response to managing your business challenges related to the virus. We will offer webinars to share the results and provide useful information to help firm owners and their employees respond to disruptions brought on by the coronavirus. We will also be ramping up our communication with you through our blog, The  Last Word , which will contain up-to-date information from our communications, business resources and education, member services and advocacy departments. Finally, we will be coordinating weekly calls of groups like ours in the built environment to learn from one another and collaborate on solutions having to do with impacts on business from the coronavirus. We will share relevant insights gained from that process and work together on common advocacy goals that support the AEC community as a whole. 

Like many of you, we have weighed alternatives for staffing our office as we watch the progression of the virus. We will move to a remote-work schedule next week, which will last as long as we deem necessary to keep our team safe. Our normal office hours will remain in place and our staff will be completely available to you throughout this period.

Regarding our annual Convention and Legislative Summit in April, we are monitoring the situation in Washington, DC closely and are following the recommendations of the CDC, the DC Department of Health and related federal and municipal agencies on how to proceed. We are exploring options to postpone or scale back the event, and we are in active communication with the host hotel to ensure they are taking all precautions for the safety of our members should we choose to proceed. The leadership at ACEC National has a call scheduled with the ACEC National Executive Committee on March 19th to discuss alternatives for proceeding with the event. Any decisions made during that call will be communicated to you as soon as possible.

If there is anything ACEC National can do to assist your firm, do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact me directly at  or reach out to our VP for Marketing and Communications, Jeff Urbanchuk at

Until then, we recommend that you stay tuned to the ACEC website ( ) and ACEC’s  Twitter LinkedIn  and  Facebook  pages for up-to-date information.  

Linda Bauer Darr
President & CEO

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • The CDC offers guidance on steps you should take if you feel sick:

Recommendations to avoid getting sick. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • While washing your hands with soap is one of the most effective ways to avoid spread, hand sanitizers can work in a pinch. Not all sanitizers are created equally though. Here is a sanitizer guide from the EPA with noted products that have the right formulas to kill viruses :