Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide stay at home order, requiring Louisiana residents to shelter at home unless going out for essential tasks.
(READ FULL ORDER BY SCROLLING DOWN PAST THE VIDEO)
The order takes effect at 5 p.m. Monday, but Edwards is asking people to self-isolate now. According to a letter sent by Edwards’ office to lawmakers, people can go to the grocery store, convenience store, pharmacy, make medical appointments, restaurants for take-out, delivery or drive-thru, exercise and walk pets, among other things.
The order will stay in place through April 12, unless it is extended.
"We need to be resolute, we need to be focused, and we need to be determined," the governor said. "We are going to get through this, but we're going to do it by complying with these directives. Let's be selfless. Let's be good neighbors. Let's be good Louisianians."
Louisiana has the fastest rate of growth of infection for the first 13 days of any area in the world, the governor says.
"These are basic facts we cannot deny or ignore. One week ago, we had 91 cases. As of this morning now have 837 cases and 20 deaths. That's a 10x increase in seven days," the governor said.
Edwards said experiences in other parts of the world have told us what we need to do.
"You have to act fast, and in places that may not look like they have a problem yet," he said.
Louisiana has the third-highest infection rate per capita, behind only New York and Washington state, he said. A study from UL determined that the state has the fastest growth rate in the world.
Rumors about shutting down the borders and calling out the National Guard to do so are not true, he said. There's plenty of good information out there, he said.
"We can get past this. But we're going to have to take these mitigation actions seriously," the governor said.
This emergency is going to get worse before it gets better. We don't know how much worse it's going to get, but we do know we can impact how much worse it gets, and that's what this press conference is about," Edwards said.
When asked about recovery numbers, Edwards said we haven't had the virus long enough to get those yet.
"Recovery means you've been diagnosed via a positive test that you have COVID-19, and then you have to test negative twice, with 24 hours between tests," Edwards said "That means you have to have a 14-day run after the first test, and we're not there yet."
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide Stay at Home order 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 our 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. I am implementing this measure to help prevent you from becoming infected or infecting someone else. People can leave their homes to do essential things like buying groceries or food, pick up medicine or go to work only if their job is essential. If you have to go out, make sure you practice social distancing measures and keep 6 feet between you and the people around you. 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,” Gov. 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.”
The order is set to expire at the end of the night on Sunday, April 12. 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.
The Governor previously ordered all K-12 public schools, casinos, bars movie theatres, 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.
For businesses, the new Stay at Home order has limits on the following:
Examples of Essential Worker Functions under the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines include:
See CISA essential business guidelines here.
Members of the public will still be allowed to go to grocery stores and pharmacies to pick up food, medicine and necessary supplies, go to their essential jobs and to go outside for exercise and fresh air. When leaving their home, people should practice social distancing.
OTHER ORDERS FROM THE GOVERNOR:
Gov. Edwards has issued a number of orders designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana and flatten the curve. They are: