On Monday, Gov. John Bel Edwards held a meeting of Louisiana's first Unified Command Group to discuss the state's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
During the meeting, the governor announced the creation of a COVID-19 Task Force comprised of key state and federal officials.
The job of the Task Force is to lead Louisiana's planning related to the spread of the virus and offer guidance to the Governor's Office, state agencies, local governments, businesses and organizations.
Members of the COVID-19 Task Force include the Louisiana Department of Health and the Office of Public Health, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Division of Administration, the Department of Education, the Louisiana National Guard, the Department of Children and Family Services, the Louisiana Department of Justice, the United States Coast Guard, 211, Louisiana State Police and other agencies.
The governor's office says that there are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Louisiana.
“While we currently do not have any confirmed cases of coronavirus in Louisiana, we do anticipate that we will in the future. That’s why Louisiana’s Department of Health and other agencies have been planning for several weeks on how the state will respond to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the health of the public,” Gov. Edwards said in a release. “As a state, Louisiana has been planning for pandemics for 15 years, and we will use this experience to guide how we react and respond to the coronavirus, should it impact our state. For now, people should take commonsense steps to protect themselves from respiratory illness, including washing their hands, covering their mouths when they cough and avoiding going out in public when they are sick.”
More than 60 cases and two deaths from the virus have been confirmed in the United States.
The Louisiana Office of Public Health’s State Laboratory is now able to test for the virus in state, using the testing guidelines provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gov. Edwards will address Coronavirus as part of his remarks at the Baton Rouge Press Club around noon today. His remarks will be streamed at Facebook.com/LouisianaGov.
For updates on the state’s response to the Coronavirus situation, visit LDH.louisiana.gov/Coronavirus.