Suspicious package at homeless shelter determined to be safe

Vials labeled “anthrax” that were discovered inside of a backpack at a homeless shelter outside of the French Quarter on Friday were found to not be dangerous.

“We’re delighted to report that the vials found earlier this afternoon in a youth’s backpack and labeled ‘anthrax’ were not, in fact, anthrax,” said Jim Kelly, executive director of Covenant House, where the backpack was found.

The vials, he said, were part of an old test kit for anthrax.

“Our youth and staff handled the situation remarkably well,” Kelly said. “We are blessed by good kids — and dedicated professionals.”

Someone found the backpack and vials inside of the homeless shelter in the 600 block of North Rampart Street a little before 1:30 p.m.

“The angels and the saints were watching over us, as always,” Kelly said.