Gov. Edwards requests major disaster declaration to combat spread of COVID-19

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(KNOE) - Louisiana's governor wants the president to declare the state a major disaster area to help the fight against the coronavirus.

In a letter to President Donald Trump, Edwards says, "The response to the spread of COVID-19 has overwhelmed the capabilities of State and local resources. I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and local governments."

Gov. John Bel Edwards' office says the declaration would allow the federal government to provide additional support for state and local agencies in dealing with this growing public health threat.

“It is still impossible to know exactly how long the COVID-19 pandemic will impact Louisiana, but what we do know is that we have more cases per capita than every state, except for New York and Washington. Sadly, 34 people have died in Louisiana and our case count continues to rise, which is why we need additional federal aid," said Gov. Edwards. “We have overwhelmed our stocks of key resources needed for our hospitals, first responders and emergency managers. There will be a long-lasting impact on the state of Louisiana, and we have taken aggressive mitigation measures to fight the spread of COVID-19. I have been appreciative of the support of the federal government, especially Vice President Mike Pence’s COVID-19 task force, and I am hopeful FEMA will quickly approve our request as we continue our response and work towards recovery.”

Click here to read the declaration request for more details on why Edwards says Louisiana needs it.

Gov. Edwards previously issued a Public Health Emergency on March 11 in response to the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana.

On March 23, a Stay at Home order went into effect for the state. You can read more about that here.

President Trump has recently approved major disaster declarations for New York, Washington, and California.