JBE Sunday update: ‘stay at home’ ordered

Virus Update
Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor.

The gist: In an emergency press conference Sunday, Gov. John Bel Edwards pulled the trigger on the much-anticipated, “Stay at Home” order several other states enacted in slow the spread of coronavirus. According to the order, which will begin at 5 p.m. Monday, all non-essential businesses will close to the public.

Wasn’t that in effect already? Not at this magnitude. These new restrictions close museums, fairs, aquariums, barbershops and nail salons, among other gathering places, helping to limit the number of human to human contact. These new restrictions also limit gatherings to 10 people, rather than the limit of 50 already in place. 

Coronavirus is spreading quickly in the state. “In the last two weeks, our growth rate has been faster than any other state or country in the world,” Edwards said. He reiterated that two weeks ago, Louisiana had zero confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of this morning, the state has 837 cases, and 20 deaths across 36 parishes — though the governor believes this number dwarfs our real spread. 

Capacity is a pressing issue: 200 more ICU beds will come online soon with more planned. Elective procedures have been canceled to help free up staff and personal protection equipment. 

(Speaking of PPE, check out the COVID Mask Crafters if you’d like to get involved in creating masks for healthcare workers.) 

Still open: Even with the daunting list of closures, essentials will remain open. Grocery stores, pharmacies, utilities, the media, veterinary clinics and financial services will all remain open to the public. Edwards once again asked that people think of others when hoarding. Shop for a week. Not a month is the message.  

Things you can do: “Stay home every minute you can,” Edwards said. He also made suggestions as to what you can do to fill those hours in isolation. Pick up food for someone in need, care for a friend or family member, hike, jog, exercise, take a walk and, most of all, “Be a good citizen like you never have before.” 

About the Author

Brianne is currently pursuing her master's degree focusing on engagement between communities and their journalism outlets. She holds a Mark of Excellence for her column writing focusing on local issues and is captivated by Lafayette's local culture.

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