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Louisiana schools to close for a month; gatherings of 250 or more not allowed

The amount of presumptive positive cases is up to 36 in the state of Louisiana and 26 in the Orleans Parish area.

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said he signed a proclamation Friday that immediately halts all public gatherings of more than 250 people due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Louisiana Department of Health announced Friday that the number of presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, the potentially deadly respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, had jumped to 33.

No deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in Louisiana at this time.

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"We are at an inflection point now and we are going to take bold action to minimize the further spread of this illness," Edwards posted on his Twitter account Friday.

The governor's proclamation also closes all K-12 public schools across the state starting Monday, March 16, until Monday, April 13. It also moves the dates for the upcoming state elections.

"The limits on gatherings of 250 people or more statewide is based on federal CDC guidance given the community spread which we are currently experiencing," Edwards wrote. "These steps are necessary to protect the health and safety of the people of Louisiana from the risk of COVID-19."

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