LAFAYETTE, La. — Lafayette Consolidated Government held a press briefing on Monday to provide updates on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory announced that he would be extending his March 15 &16 emergency proclamations until Gov. John Bel Edwards ends his statewide Stay-At-Home Order. And if the governor extends that order, the mayor-president will further extend his proclamation.
On Monday, Edwards said he will be issuing an updated stay-at-home order this week to bring Louisiana's protocol in line with President Donald Trump's orders that extend through April 30. Edwards' order originally was set to expire on April 12. The president extended his orders to April 30 on Sunday.
Guillory said that the extension of the orders is being done to continue efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 so that hospitals are not overwhelmed by a surge of patients needing bed capacity.
The mayoral proclamation that was issued by Guillory on March 20 did not include an end date.
Guilllory said that hotspots for the virus could develop across the country in communities big and small, and that there was a strong need to contain the virus locally.
"The response is not a sprint, but a marathon," said Guillory. "If we do our job here it could be a 5K."
Guillory reminded residents to adhere to the social distancing guidelines especially when shopping for food and other supplies. He offered residents to follow the 6 ft rule and a "one buggy, one person" rule when shopping at large grocery stores and shops with large indoor spaces.
Guillory also advised residents to take the guidance seriously especially if they are at home during the outbreak.
"If you’re not taking this guidance seriously, then you are taking your own live into own hands," said Guillory. He reminded everyone that anyone whether they are an otherwise healthy 17 year old or an infant can contract the virus.
Guillory also announced that while many government buildings under the Parks and Recreation Department remain closed, some of the empty buildings will be utilized for other purposed to help the public during the outbreak.
Guillory said that the Robicheaux Center at 1919 Eraste Landry Road in Lafayette will begin offering meals to the unemployed starting Tuesday, March 31 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Anyone in need is encouraged to come for a free meal.
He said that another component to this outbreak is the economic impact and the amount of recently unemployed who are now of work because of COVID-19 and its response.
Guillory said that LCG will continue to help those in need with minimal taxpayer dollars being spent.
Guilory also said that homeless individuals in the community will soon be relocated to Chicot State Park where they will be screened and tested for COVID-19.
According to Guillory, if they test positive then they will go to Chicot State Park where they will receive treatment for COVID-19. Once the regiment is complete, then they will coordinate with healthcare individuals and once they are recovered then they will be shipped back to their respective parishes.
Guillory also highlighted the 311 Call Center that is now offering resources for small businesses and employees affected by COVID-19 in partnership with the Lafayette Economic Development Authority.
Phone lines opened this morning for business owners, employees who are now unemployed and people looking for work. The call center will be open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and can be reached by dialing 311 then pressing 2.
According to LCG, 10 members of LEDA’s staff are answering calls to help navigate people through the complicated process. The staff received 156 calls on Monday.
LEDA staff is helping with the following:
• Applying for small business recovery loans
• Applying for unemployment benefits
• Find Employers who are hiring
• Other information about related programs
LCG said that business owners who prefer physical copies of SBA loan packets can drive through the “old LUS” payment center at LCG City Hall located at 705 W. University, to receive a printed packet of information and application forms Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The Cajundome screening site had 68 people visit on Monday, with 18 people screened out and 50 people tested for COVID-19. The stite reopens tomorrow morning from 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
On Monday, March 30, Lafayette Parish was reporting 82 cases of the coronavirus up from 50 reported on Sunday. So far, only one person has died.
Across the state, 4,025 cases were reported on Monday with 185 deaths.
See those numbers, here.
The Louisiana Deapartment of Health updates the number of cases and deaths every day at noon.