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.

Livingston Parish is reporting an additional positive case of the novel coronavirus, bringing the local total to 16, according to the latest figures from the Louisiana Department of Health.

This comes 11 days after Livingston Parish confirmed its first positive case of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, when a resident tested positive while being treated in a New Orleans hospital.

The second positive case was reported last March 21, followed by the third the next day, two more the following day, and one the next. The parish jumped to 11 positive cases last Thursday, 12 on Saturday, and 15 on Sunday before the Department of Health’s latest report.

On Friday, it was confirmed that Denham Springs Marshal Joe Shumate had contracted COVID-19, his wife announced via social media. No other Livingston Parish resident with the disease has been identified, per HIPAA guidelines.

So far, there has not been a COVID-19 death among any of the 16 Livingston Parish residents who have contracted the disease, according to the Department of Health. However, the state death toll as of Saturday stands at 185, up by 34 from the previous day.

Louisiana, which is experiencing the third-highest rate of cases per capita in the country, is now reporting 4,025 positive cases of the disease, according to the Department of Health. There are now 1,158 COVID-19 patients being treated in Louisiana hospitals, including 385 who are on ventilators.

Governor Edwards continues to emphasize social distancing and mitigation efforts, even putting a "stay at home" order into effect to try and express the potential issues that could be caused by this virus. The governor has discussed extending his 'stay at home' order to Apr. 30, matching the president's extension of 'social distancing' mandates, also to Apr. 30.

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

Those who are essential must go to work, but individuals who can work from home are asked to do so. Businesses should limit their interaction with the public as much as possible.

The Governor updated his public health emergency proclamation to include the following:

  • Gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people.
  • Casinos and bars will be closed.
  • Restaurants will be closed to patrons eating on site. Take-out, drive-through and delivery orders are allowed.
  • Movie theaters will be closed.

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