The Livingston Parish Public Schools system will “fully cooperate” with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ intention to extend his “stay at home” order through the end of the month amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Superintendent Joe Murphy said in a statement.
The announcement came shortly after Edwards told reporters he intends to extend his current proclamation to April 30, which would coincide with President Donald Trump’s own extension of social distancing guidelines through that same date.
“LPPS will fully cooperate with the governor’s intentions regarding the extension of his ‘stay at home’ order,” Murphy said in a statement.
Edwards’ current proclamation closed all schools and “non-essential” businesses through Sunday, April 12. Though schools would be allowed to resume normal operations on April 13 under the current proclamation, Livingston Parish schools wouldn’t actually return until April 20, following spring break.
But if Edwards extends his proclamation the way he suggested he would Monday, Livingston Parish schools would be closed for another 10 days.
“While we will wait for an official proclamation to provide more concise information, LPPS is dedicated to the safety and well being of our students, our employees and our community,” Murphy said.
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, jumped to 4,025 positive cases and 185 deaths in Louisiana, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.
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:
- Go to grocery or warehouse stores
- Pickup food from restaurants
- Go to pharmacies
- Go to the doctor's office, should the doctor allow it
You can also:
- Care for or support a friend or family member
- Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise - just keep at least six feet between you and others
- Walk your pets and take them to veterinarian if necessary
- Help someone to get necessary supplies
- Receive deliveries from any business which delivers
The governor's office says you should not:
- Go to work unless you are providing essential services defined by this order
- Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
- Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
- 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.