This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, green, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19.

The impromptu announcement of a coronavirus press conference on Sunday was a surprise to many.

And then the governor dropped his second bombshell in 48 hours - the state of Louisiana is now under a 'Stay at Home Order' beginning Monday, Mar. 23. The governor said the decision was difficult, but after a direct conversation with Vice President Mike Pence - who leads the country's efforts against the coronavirus - the governor made the decision.

The governor said Louisiana has a case growth rate that is larger than any state or country throughout the world. The order extends through Sunday, Apr. 12.

"Bottom line we are in a race against time against this virus," Gov. Edwards said. "These mitigation efforts will not be effective unless citizens follow them."

The stay at home order still allows residents to:

  1. Go to grocery or warehouse stores
  2. Pickup food from restaurants
  3. Go to pharmacies
  4. Go to the doctor's office, should the doctor allow it

You can also:

  1. Care for or support a friend or family member
  2. Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise - just keep at least six feet between you and others
  3. Walk your pets and take them to veterinarian if necessary
  4. Help someone to get necessary supplies 
  5. Receive deliveries from any business which delivers

The governor's office says you should not:

  1. Go to work unless you are providing essential services defined by this order
  2. Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  3. Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
  4. Visited loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility

The difference between "stay at home" and "social distancing" is that stay at home is a more strict version. It means:

  • Stay at home is a stricter form of social distancing
  • Only go out for essential services
  • Stay six feet away or more from others
  • Don't gather in groups of 10 or more

The governor wanted to emphasize that these measures weren't 'quarantine' - residents could still utilize essential services and would not be restricted to home at all times.

Good practices for social distancing and hygiene include:

  • No gatherings of 10 or more
  • Wash hands for 20 seconds or more
  • Sneeze and cough into a tissue or elbow
  • Disinfect common surfaces

The novel coronavirus jumped up another 74 positive cases overnight, bringing the statewide total to 837, according to the latest figures from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).

In Livingston Parish, there remains only two confirmed cases of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, as of Sunday morning, according to the Department of Health. 

While Livingston Parish didn’t see a jump in the LDH’s Sunday morning figures, several of its neighboring parishes did. East Baton Rouge Parish, to the west, reached 20 positive cases, while Ascension Parish, to the southwest, spiked to 17. St. John the Baptist Parish, to the southeast, pushed its total to 10 cases, while Tangipahoa Parish, to the west, remained at three.

The latest positive case in Livingston Parish was reported Saturday afternoon, President Layton Ricks confirmed to The News in a text message. Ricks had no other information to provide, including where the resident was diagnosed.

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