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Gov. John Bel Edwards provides update on COVID-19 at New Orleans press conference

Posted: 2:52 PM, Mar 13, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-13 15:52:49-04
Governor John Bel Edwards

Following a joint briefing on the state and city of New Orleans response to COVID-19, Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell held a joint press conference.

During the press conference, Edwards urged residents to limit interactions with others that may be at risk if they were to contract the novel coronavirus.

He asks that residents continue to use good hygiene, practice social distancing, and keeping work and home spaces clean.

As part of a proclamation made on Friday, Edwards declared that gatherings of 250 or more held between March 13 through April 13 be postponed or canceled. This would only apply to single space gatherings in which those gathered would be in close proximity.

It does not apply to normal operations such as airports, medical facilities office buildings, grocery stores and others. The proclamation states that the dates may be extended if necessary.

All public schools in the state will also close starting on March 16 and will resume on April 13, 2020. If able, schools will still provide meals or other essential services if necessary.

On the Louisiana Department of Education website, they say that schools shall continue to provide meals or other essential services with applicable staff.

Other points are as follows:

  • Instructional minute requirements shall be temporarily suspended for distance education courses and for curriculum delivery.
  • The required 63,720 instructional minute requirement per year shall also be suspended.
  • The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall report to the Governor and the
  • Legislature any further actions necessary to ensure that eligible students achieve successful student grading, promotion, and graduation.

For a list of other closures, click here.

In regards to government offices, the governor's proclamation says that the Office of Motor Vehicles will suspend late fees for driver's licenses which would be charged beginning on March 9, 2020 through May 10, 2020. Those will be suspended through May 20, 2020

The proclamation also mentions the suspension of notices to appear at the OMV, expiration of temporary registration plates, license plates, etc.

A full breakdown can be found in the proclamation document below or by calling the OMV.

At the state and local level, a resolution which would allow for the suspension of legal requirements to ensure the continued operation of state and local governments. Those issues would include legal deadlines and quorum requirements for open meetings.

The emergency declaration also touches on unemployment compensation and unemployment insurance. That can be viewed in the document below.

As of Friday morning, the Louisiana Department of Health confirms 33 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, including 23 Orleans Parish residents. That number has climbed to 36 as of Friday evening.

Numerous Closures and cancellations have been made including schools in the state. Read here.

For a breakdown of current COVID-19 cases in Louisiana, visit LDH.louisiana.gov/Coronavirus

For more school cancellations, click here.

Other cancellations in the state, click here.