In light of the current rate of Coronavirus cases and deaths in Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards announced an extension of the Stay at Home order on Monday, April 27.
Governor Edwards announced that the Stay at Home Order will be extended until May 15. "To go into phase one there must be a decrease in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here.” According to an article on gov.louisiana.gov, “In several regions across the state, new cases and hospitalizations continue to increase or to plateau, according to data from the Louisiana Department of Health. The White House criteria calls for declining numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, among other things.”
Governor Edwards did report that the number of cases and deaths currently have been the lowest the state has had since Sunday, March 29. “Louisiana has successfully stopped short of overwhelming the healthcare system, and that is because people took the Stay at Home Order seriously.”
Edwards said of his decision to extend the order, “Every doctor and scientist advising me agrees we must be cautions and agrees with my decision to extend the order. I believe we need to move slowly when reopening because if we go too quickly it will be bad for healthcare and the economy.”
He explained, “Businesses directed to close will remain closed and essential businesses will remain open. Malls can open using delivery service.” Law firms, clothing stores, jewelry stores, furniture stores, and others not listed in the order to be closed can remain open with a ten-person limit. He stated that people can eat at outside seating at restaurants but cannot be waited on. He also announced, “Employees interacting with the public must wear face masks and gloves.” He encouraged locals to wear masks when they go out.
As stated in the article on gov.louisiana.gov, the governor hopes to begin phase one of opening the state on May 15 “provided symptoms, new case counts and hospitalizations decrease and the state continues to surge testing and contact tracing capacity.”
Governor Edwards said of the current outlook, “We are moving in the right direction and we are closer to being ready for phase one due to the Stay at Home Orders.” He noted that reopening will be statewide and not by parish. “We have enough hot spots around the state that it is not just in the southeast corner. We don’t want to create new hotspots.” He stated of the extension, “I have no doubt that the extension of the order is the best decision, and if we keep going the way we are we will soon be ready to move into phase one.”