LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a stay-at-home order for Louisiana in response to COVID-19.
The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, but Edwards urged state residents to immediately act as though the order is already in place. It will remain in effect for three weeks - through April 12.
Read the full proclamation HERE.
The stay-at-home order means all businesses considered non-essential are to close and workers at those businesses are to stay home.
Edwards said people should behave as if they have coronavirus to ensure that the spread of the illness is stopped.
Louisiana's growth rate of COVID-19 cases has been faster than any other state, or even country, Edwards said. He said two weeks ago, Louisiana had no known cases. On Sunday, March 15, Louisiana had 91 confirmed cases and as of today, we have 837 cases.
Louisiana has the third highest number of cases per capita in the U.S., he said.
"If we want to flatten the curve, we must take more mitigation measures right now and limit our contact," Edwards said. "There's no other way to do this."
According to the order, an activity is essential if the purpose of the activity is one of the following:
- Obtaining food, medicine, and other similar goods necessary for the individual or a family member of the individual.
- Obtaining non-elective medical care and treatment and other similar vital services for an individual or a family member of the individual.
- Going to and from an individual’s workplace to perform a job function necessary to provide goods or services being sought in Subsections (A) and (B) of this Section, or as otherwise deemed essential worker functions. Guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on what workers are essential is outlined at https:/ www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid19.
- Going to and from the home of a family member.
- Going to and from an individual's place of worship.
- Engaging in outdoor activity, provided individuals maintain a distance of six feet from one another and abide by the 10-person limitation on gathering size established in this proclamation.
The order also closed the following businesses:
- 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 CISA guidelines.
Daycares and early learning can stay open, but must follow directives from the Department of Health and Department of Education.
“We need to make sure, at a minimum, that our healthcare workers can go to work,” Edwards said.
The governor also urged residents not to buy groceries for more than one week at a time.
Edwards also addressed said rumors that the state was going to mobilize the National Guard to close the borders are not true. He urged people to get their information from reliable sources and not spread rumors.
The 16 critical infrastructure systems listed by CISA are: