BATON ROUGE, La. (WVUE) - Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide Stay at Home order that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, March 23, to further fight the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana.
The number of confirmed cases have topped 800 and spread to more than half of the state’s parishes.
“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," Edwards said Sunday.
He stressed how serious the situation has become. He asked for “maximum compliance" from residents in order to protect “our way of life.”
“Do whatever you can, not only for yourself but for your neighbors. Do your part,” he said.
The stay at home measure does not include a curfew at this time, but people should not go anywhere if they are sick and practice social distancing.
“I don’t think fear and panic are helpful. Being serious and sense of urgency are helpful. We want people to take this seriously, we want people to comply,” Edwards said.
The order to stay inside should be acted on immediately, despite the 5 p.m. deadline on Monday, Edwards said.
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 theaters, 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