Women’s History Month: Beauchamp guides Caddo Parish through pandemic

“I remember that night the first phone call of our first reported case and I think there was this overwhelming sense of life as we know it is about to change.”
Krystle Beauchamp
Krystle Beauchamp(Scott Pace)
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 8:34 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Imagine the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of workers worldwide worked to acclimate themselves to staying healthy and keeping others safe.

In Caddo Parish, of those women was Krystle Beauchamp, communications manager and spokesperson for the Parish of Caddo Parish.

Krystle’s daily routine includes providing updates to Caddo Parish administrator, Dr. Woody Wilson, on what’s happening throughout the parish that day.

Those daily briefings have calmed down a bit in recent weeks but looking back on March 2020, Beauchamp said she knew when the virus hit our area things were about to change forever.

“I remember that night the first phone call of our first reported case and I think there was this overwhelming sense of life as we know it is about to change,” she said. “I wasn’t really sure which direction that would go but I definitely remember in that moment realizing we were going to have to be really creative and intentional about the way that we communicated with the citizens of Caddo Parish.”

As the pandemic unfolded, Krystle said she realized quickly that the situation was going to need a joint effort between the city, parish and homeland security to inform and educate northwest Louisiana.

“We were meeting every morning at 7 a.m. looking at the information that we had and determining what the best steps were to get that out to the public.”

Krystle was tasked to inform Caddo Parish residents during the pandemic how to protect themselves and others; the latest virus numbers; what’s open and what’s closed and how neighbors could pay their bills.

There were constant adjustments to the nine departments and 11 municipalities across the parish.

“The priority for us was always to maintain our commitment to being open, to being timely, and giving our citizens accurate information,” she said. “We knew that was the standard. But I think the focus was how do you give that face-to-face information without actually being face to face. So having to come up with those creative solutions to make sure that we were always present, always sharing that information.”

Since then, the agency has shared information through Zoom calls, news briefings and updates on social media.

“I feel like we are still transitioning out of a pandemic, but we still have challenges and the challenges have evolved. I think there’s a safety perspective,” she said. “We have mitigation measures in place, vaccines in place, our numbers are coming down so it does change a little bit but I think if it’s taught us anything there’s always a threat or there’s always a potential situation to prepare for, so I just think we stay ready.”

Another challenge Krystle faced was dealing with the pandemic on top of the Arctic Blast that crippled our entire system in February 2021. She said lessons learned during the start of the pandemic helped her stay ready for the winter double whammy.

Copyright 2022 KSLA. All rights reserved.