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Louisiana ‘stay at home’ order to be extended through April

Louisiana

Additional SNAP benefits, suspension of work requirements also announced

BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says he plans to issue an updated ‘stay at home’ order later this week to be in line with President Donald Trump’s most recent guidance, as the number of Louisiana residents who have died from COVID-19 jumped significantly overnight.

The Democratic governor’s stay-home order was supposed to end April 13, but he said he would extend it to April 30. That will keep schools closed, nonessential businesses shuttered, restaurants limited to delivery and takeout and gatherings above 10 people banned. Edwards thanked Trump for revising the guidelines.

“This is obviously very helpful for states like ours because it sends a clear message that we are nowhere near over the hump, that we still have an awful lot of work to do to try to flatten the curve, and I think it creates a realistic expectation in the public about the time horizon that we are on,” Edwards said.

Additional SNAP benefits were also announced Monday, along with the suspension of work requirements under Louisiana’s unemployment laws.

MORE: DCFS: Supplemental SNAP benefits to be issued to many La. households Tuesday

The supplemental benefits, authorized under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, will be automatically loaded onto SNAP recipients’ EBT cards, delivering an estimated $43 million extra per month in federal food assistance to about 265,000 Louisiana households.

63% of all households in the state who currently get food stamps will get additional benefits bringing them to the max amount, Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Marketa Walters said in a statewide briefing Monday afternoon.

As of 12:00 p.m. March 30, 2020, the Louisiana Department of Health is reporting 4,025 positive cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana.

Those updated numbers reflect 485 newly confirmed cases statewide, and 34 new deaths reported. The DHH reports 59 of the state’s 64 parishes have confirmed cases. A total of 1,158 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized; of those, 385 patients require ventilation. 

As of 12 p.m. Monday, there were 331 cases and eight deaths reported across the following Northwest Louisiana Parishes:

  • Caddo  –  222 case(s)  |  5 death(s)
  • Bossier  –  57 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • De Soto  –  28 case(s)  |  1 death(s)
  • Webster  –  11 case(s)  |  1 death(s)
  • Claiborne  –  4 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • Bienville  –  5 case(s)  |  1 death(s)
  • Natchitoches  –  2 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • Red River  –  1 case(s)  |  0 death(s)
  • Sabine  –   1 case(s)  |  0 death(s)

On Sunday, Edwards noted that the state may well have to extend his stay-at-home order beyond the initial April 13 deadline.

Officials urging La. residents to keep using 211 for coronavirus questions, information

He also said he was continuing to petition the federal government for more ventilators from the national strategic stockpile. While none have been allocated yet, Edwards expressed hope that some would be released soon.

Regardless, he said the state’s hospital capacity has not been reached yet, but hospital beds may run out by April 10, based on current models.

Projection models predict COVID-19 pandemic will peak in Louisiana on April 8

Models recently released by an independent population health research center indicate a similar trajectory, projecting the number of hospital beds needed for COVID-19 patients will exceed the number available in Louisiana on April 8. Deaths per day are projected to peak April 9-10 at 97.

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