NEW ORLEANS — The State of Louisiana is under a state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.
Here is a list of announcements by local officials by parish:
On Friday, March 13, 2020, Governor John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation that among other actions immediately halts any gathering of more than 250 people until Monday, April 13 and closes all K-12 public schools statewide effective Monday, March 16 resuming Monday, April 13, as Louisiana seeks to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state. As of mid-day Friday, Louisiana has 36 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.
Jefferson Parish officials continue to closely monitor this outbreak and are in close communication with the CDC and the Louisiana Department of Public Health, along with other local, regional and national emergency service agencies and partners. According to Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng, “We are in the mitigation phase and now is the time for us to take proactive and bold steps to minimize the spread of the virus in our community and protect the health and safety of the people of Jefferson Parish from the risk of COVID-19.”
Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson hosted a Unified Task Force meeting with elected officials, mayors, school board officials, law enforcement, fire districts, Nicholls State University, and the Greater Lafourche Port Commission to address parish-wide operations.
President Chaisson declared a state of emergency March 13 following the governor's emergency declaration. This declaration allows local entities to utilize medical and financial assistance available to them through the duration of this health event. There is still only one presumptive positive case of coronavirus cases in Lafourche Parish. The goal of these closures is to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread. The best thing to do is to limit social activities in order to do this.
The first COVID-19 related death in Louisiana was confirmed by state and local officials Saturday.
Governor John Bel Edwards and Mayor LaToya Cantrell both issued statements of sympathy and asked residents to remain vigilant with coronavirus precations.
"We were deeply saddened, but sadly not surprised, to get confirmation today of the first fatality attributed to COVID-19 in the state of Louisiana,” said Mayor Cantrell. "As we know, particular sectors of our community are acutely at risk for serious symptoms that may ultimately prove fatal. We are taking every action to protect and to inform these vulnerable populations, and we encourage our healthy residents to bear in mind the potential cost of the virus's spread. This is a tragic development, but not an unforeseen one. I call on all of our residents to keep the victim’s family in their prayers, and to continue doing everything possible to prevent further spread."
The Plaquemines Parish Government is monitoring COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Residents are asked to monitor local media for more information as it becomes available. The public is advised to take regular CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) precautions & protective measures at this time.
As Plaquemines Parish Government continues to monitor the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) closely in conjunction with local and state partners, the Plaquemine Parish Council on Aging announces closure.
On March 13th, the Plaquemines Parish Council on Aging announced it will be closed from Monday, March 16th until Wednesday, April 1st. The Board of Directors, along with the COA Director, Mr. David Lewis, have agreed to suspend COA activities in an abundance of caution to protect Plaquemines Parish seniors. Lunch meals will continue to be offered by delivery to Registered Clients. Due to the fluid changes of this pandemic, plans may be adjusted as needed.
St. Bernard Parish:
As St. Bernard Parish Government continues to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) closely in conjunction with local and state partners, Parish Government has taken the strategic step to suspend Parish related events of 250 people or more as directed by Governor John Bel Edwards.
After much deliberation, Parish officials stand together with our state partners that our residents would be best served with the cancelation of prior scheduled events. The safety of our residents and their families is the highest priority of this administration. As more cases begin to test positive in and around St. Bernard Parish, it is imperative that residents take the necessary precautions to limit exposure.
St. Charles Parish:
St. Charles Parish Emergency Operation Center received confirmation from the Louisiana Department of Health that a second St. Charles Parish resident tested presumptively positive for COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, and is also being treated in Jefferson Parish. Parish President Matthew Jewell remains in constant communication with the Governor’s office as this is a fluid situation.
While St. Charles Parish Government remains open and operational, all recreation and senior events have been postponed until further notice. The Council on Aging will continue to deliver meals but all other events have been postponed.
St John the Baptist Parish:
Recently, the St. John Parish Emergency Operation Center received confirmation from the Louisiana Department of Health that a St. John Parish resident tested presumptively positive for COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, and is being treated in Jefferson Parish. It will be sent to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for testing.
Earlier today, Parish President Hotard issued an emergency declaration to meet the needs of the community during this time.
"This is a rapidly evolving situation. We understand the presumptive positive case may concern our community, but at this time there is no evidence of a large community spread," said President Hotard. "We ask that you continue taking the necessary precautions."
St. Tammany Parish:
Mike Cooper, St. Tammany Parish President was joined by leaders from agencies around St. Tammany, to discuss the Parish’s emergency response. Cooper has declared a State of Emergency in St. Tammany Parish, initiated a reduced workforce, asked residents to adhere to the Governor’s declaration and to avoid large crowds. He has asked recreational districts to postpone scheduled activities for the next four weeks and assured residents that Tammany Utilities, the Parish-owned utility company, will restore water service to any resident who has been shut off, and they will refrain from shutting water off for the coming weeks until this emergency is over.
“This is an unprecedented situation. Our primary concern is health, safety, and welfare of our citizens business owners and visitors,” said Mike Cooper, St. Tammany Parish President. “We want our residents to be a part of the community response required to slow the spread of this virus.
St. Tammany Parish Public School Superintendent Trey Folse addressed the Governor’s proclamation regarding school closures for the next four weeks, stressing the importance of taking the proper time to evaluate the situation, review the Governor’s proclamation, and work with BESE to make the best decisions for our St. Tammany community.