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Gov. John Bel Edwards issues statewide ‘stay at home’ order in response to COVID-19

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) —  Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide ‘stay at home’ order, effective 5 p.m. Monday, describing a ‘race against time’ amid the coronavirus.

“In Louisiana we have taken aggressive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve; however, this is not enough,” Edwards said in a statement announcing the order. “As our number of cases continue to grow, I am directing all Louisianans to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave. I am implementing this measure to help prevent you from becoming infected or infecting someone else. “

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Edwards announced the order Sunday to further fight the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, as the number of confirmed cases have topped 800 and spread to more than half of the state’s parishes.

RELATED: KTAL NBC 6 to air statewide COVID-19 broadcast with Louisiana Governor on Monday

“People can leave their homes to do essential things like buying groceries or food, pick up medicine or go to work only if their job is essential. If you have to go out, make sure you practice social distancing measures and keep 6 feet between you and the people around you. People are encouraged to go outside and to stay active during this time, as long as they practice social distancing when they are around their neighbors,” Gov. Edwards said. “This order is not something I take lightly, but it is necessary to protect the health, safety and well-being of our people, our communities and our way of life.”

The order is set to expire at the end of the night on Sunday, April 12. The Governor will re-evaluate the need for the statewide Stay at Home order and other mitigation measures currently in place to determine if they need to be extended beyond April 12.

Many businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies will be exempt from the order.

All public schools and many businesses like bars and gyms were already closed by previous executive orders, but Sunday’s order will expand the closures.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell had already issued a similar order for her city.

The Louisiana Department of Health on Sunday morning reported 837 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Deaths from the virus held steady at 20, with no deaths reported overnight.

In Northwest Louisiana, one new case was reported in Caddo Parish, while Bossier held steady with five cases, DeSoto with two, and Bienville, Claiborne and Webster with one each. So far, no cases have been reported in Natchitoches Parish.

Louisiana coronavirus information is updated twice daily on the Louisiana Department of Health website, at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

While older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk, everyone can become exposed to COVID-19 and must be vigilant to protect their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the serious chronic health conditions include heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

For updates on positive cases and deaths, visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s COVID-19 webpage.

Everyone is warned to take the necessary precautions to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and stay safe and healthy.

These precautions include:

  • Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and frequently
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with your arm
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
  • Avoiding close contact with others
  • Staying home if you are sick

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Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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