Gov. Edwards orders everyone in Louisiana to stay at home

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Louisiana Department of Health data as of March 22. See here for PDF.

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order today that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday (March 23) to further fight the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, as the number of confirmed cases have topped 800 and spread to more than half of of the state’s parishes.

“In Louisiana we have taken aggressive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve; however, this is not enough. As our number of cases continue to grow, I am directing all Louisianans to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave,” Edwards said.

The stay-at-home order follows similar guidelines to the order issued by Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Friday.

The cases of COVID‑19 in New Orleans on Sunday climbed to 451, with 15 resulting in death. The two drive-thru testing sites opened to the anyone over 18 who has been showing symptoms, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Under the governor’s order, residents can

● Go to the grocery, convenience or hardware store
● Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other health care necessities
● Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
● Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
● Care for or support a friend or family member
● Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others
● Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
● Help someone to get necessary supplies
● Receive deliveries from any business which delivers

Residents cannot:

● Go to work unless providing essential services (see below)
● Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
● Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
● Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility, except for limited exceptions as provided on the facility websites.

“If you have to go out, make sure you practice social distancing measures and keep 6 feet between you and the people around you,” Edwards said.

The order is set to expire at the end of the night on Sunday, April 12, which is Easter Sunday. The governor will re-evaluate the need for the statewide stay-at-home order and other mitigation measures currently in place to determine if they need to be extended beyond April 12.

For businesses, the new stay-at-home order places limits on all “places of amusement,” whether indoors or outdoors, and all personal care and grooming businesses, including barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, tattoo parlors and other similar businesses.

The governor previously ordered all K-12 public schools, casinos, bars, movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers closed and restricted restaurants to take-out, drive-through and delivery orders only. He has also moved the state’s April 4 elections and limited crowd size.

Examples of “essential worker functions” under the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency  guidelines include:

● Health care workers and caregivers; mental health and social service workers
● Pharmacy employees
● Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail sales of food and beverage products
● Restaurant carryout and quick-serve food operations and food delivery employees
● Electricity and utility industry employees
● Critical manufacturing and farm workers (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food, chemicals)
● Petroleum, natural and propane gas workers
● Transportation and logistics workers
● Media, communications and information technology employees
● Financial services and banking industry employees

“I am implementing this measure to help prevent you from becoming infected or infecting someone else. People are encouraged to go outside and to stay active during this time, as long as they practice social distancing when they are around their neighbors,” Edwards said. “This order is not something I take lightly, but it is necessary to protect the health, safety and well-being of our people, our communities and our way of life.”

Click here to read the proclamation.

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