BATON ROUGE, La. — In an effort to suspend the spread of coronavirus, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has announced more drastic measures Monday.
The governor, in an effort to abide by the Center for Disease Control recommendation to limit groups to 50 and under in number, said that the following order would go into effect at midnight on March 17.
- Gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people.
- Casinos and bars will be closed.
- Restaurants will be closed to patrons eating on site. Take-out, drive-through and delivery orders are allowed.
- Movie theaters will be closed.
The measures will be in effect until April 13. Edwards said the situation will be re-evaluated on April 6.
These key businesses are remaining open:
- healthcare facilities
- grocery stores
- gas stations
However, police officers will work to prevent loitering at these locations.
“More aggressive steps are necessary to fight the spread of COVID-19 across Louisiana," Edwards said. “These limitations were difficult to make, but they are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, protect the health of Louisianans and flatten the curve.”
Edwards said that they are learning that symptoms can take two weeks to appear and that community spread is still occurring.
"I was also on a call with President Trump and Vice President Pence that lasted more than an hour and they were very clear that we must significantly expand our mitigation efforts to slow the progress of COVID-19 before there is more community spread," Edwards said. "Action must be taken now, even in areas where there are no confirmed cases yet.”
Louisiana is currently one of the top states for number of COVID-19 cases per capita.