(KNOE/WAFB) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide “stay at home” order effective at 5 p.m. Monday because of the threat of the novel coronavirus.
The stay at home order will be in place through April 12th.
Grocery stores will stay open and active. He says there is no need to hoard. Please only buy supplies for the week, he asks.
“As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Louisiana at an alarming rate, it is necessary that we take even more aggressive measures in order to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus. Tonight at 5 p.m., the Stay at Home order that I signed will go into effect, and I am asking all the people of Louisiana to be good neighbors and to protect themselves and others by following the guidelines of the order. People can still leave their homes to do essential tasks like buying groceries or food, picking up prescriptions or going to work if absolutely necessary. If you do go out, please keep six feet between you and the people around you. Outside exercise is encouraged as long as you practice social distancing,” 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.”
Here is what you can and should not do during the stay at home order. (See more details below the graphic.)
Gov. Edwards said the reason behind his decision to keep Louisiana residents at home is clearly spelled out with one particular graphic that he displayed and explained. (See graphic below.)
“A study out of the University of Louisiana - Lafayette shows we have the fastest growth rate in confirmed cases in the world in the first 13 days right here in Louisiana. I’m going to say that again. In the last two weeks, our growth rate has been faster than any other state or country in the world. That is why it matters,” Edwards emphasized.
From major hurricanes to massive flooding, Louisiana has seen many tragedies in its history. However, the governor pointed out there’s a big difference this time around.
“In this case, this fight is taking place simultaneously all across the country. And so, from where are we going to get more doctors and nurses? I can’t put out a request from other states for two million masks. I can’t, all of a sudden, go out and buy 5,000 ventilators. That’s what makes this very very tough,” the governor noted.
The governor wrapped up his address with some phrases he wants people to remember.
“I thank everybody for their cooperation thus far. But it is going to have to get better. I ask everyone to be patient and I encourage everyone to be prayerful. God bless and thank you,” he concluded.
The governor said daycares will be allowed to remain open for now to allow for a place for children of those essential workers in the state. He also advised people to only buy one week’s worth of groceries at a time. He is discouraging shoppers from “hoarding” groceries so there will be enough for everyone to get the things they need.
The governor also stated there are no current plans to institute a statewide curfew. He said officials in each parish have the authority to issue curfews if they deem them necessary.
The following information is from the governor's website.
“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:
- All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, trampoline parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, pool halls, children’s play centers, playgrounds, theme parks, any theaters, concert and music halls, adult entertainment venues, racetracks, and other similar businesses.
- All personal care and grooming businesses, including but not limited to, barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, and other similar businesses.
- All malls, except for stores in a mall that have a direct outdoor entrance and exit that provide essential services and products as provided by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines.
- Businesses closed to the public as listed in the order can conduct necessary activities such as payroll, cleaning services, maintenance or upkeep as necessary.
- Any business not covered by the guidance from the CISA discussed in Section 3 of the order and not ordered to temporarily close must reduce operations to continue with minimum contact with members of the public and essential employees, while requiring proper social distancing, adhering to the 10-person limitation on gathering size.
- Early learning centers and child care facilities adhering to the guidance issued by the Louisiana Department of Education and Office of Public Health may continue to operate.
Examples of Essential Worker Functions under the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines include:
- Healthcare workers and caregivers
- Mental health and Social Service workers
- Pharmacy employees
- Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail sales of food and beverage products
- Restaurant carryout and quick-serve food operations and food delivery employees
- Farm workers
- Electricity and Utility Industry Employees
- Critical Manufacturing Employees (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food, chemicals)
- Petroleum, Natural and Propane Gas Workers
- Transportation and Logistics Workers
- Communications and Information Technology Employees
- Financial Services and Banking Industry Employees
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.
Louisiana's Growth Rate and Trajectory
Governor Edwards says Louisiana had the fastest growth rate in the world over the first 13 days of reporting COVID-19 cases. Louisiana's trajectory currently matches that of Italy. (See the graphics below.) Of all states in the U.S., Edwards says Louisiana has the 3rd highest number of cases per capita.