BREAKING: Governor John Bel Edwards Issues Statewide Stay at Home Mandate

Credit: Governor’s Live Press Conference

As the number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases
surpassed 800 today in Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay at home order on Sunday. 

As of March 22, 2020, twenty Louisiana residents have died due to infection, and 36 out of the state’s 64 parishes have confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

According to the statewide order, all Louisiana residents must shelter indoors. Residents may leave the house only for the following reasons

  • Visiting a store, taking out food from a restaurant, or receiving deliveries
  • Caring for a friend or family member in urgent need
  • Going for a walk, run, or bike ride
  • Taking care of pets
  • Visiting a doctor or picking up prescriptions from a pharmacy
  • Helping someone else get necessary supplies

The order also reiterates that all residents should work from home, unless they are providing essential services. At all times, anyone leaving the house should keep six feet away from other people and avoid gathering in groups of any size. 

Governor Edwards justified these urgent measures, acknowledging that COVID-19 is growing more quickly in Louisiana than anywhere else in the world. He also warned that under a worst case scenario, hospitals could run out of capacity in New Orleans within 10 days. 

While the order does not provide for checkpoints and legal enforcement, Governor Edwards warned that such measures could follow if residents do not comply voluntarily. 

Louisiana now joins a number of other states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, and New York, that have issued similar mandates. Approximately 70 million Americans are now under orders to stay indoors. 

Although the order does not take effect in Louisiana until Monday at 5 p.m., Governor Edwards urged residents to comply earlier if possible. 

The full text of the order can be found here

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