Governor John Bel Edwards announced a statewide "Stay at Home" order Sunday in response to the growing number of cases of Coronavirus in Louisiana. The Governor's order takes effect Monday, March 23, at 5:00 pm and runs through Sunday, April 12. Louisianans are required to STAY HOME except to obtain food, medicine, medical care, or visit family, engage in certain safe outdoor activities, or go to work in an "essential" industry sector. To read the Governor's entire proclamation, click HERE. With regard to business closures, the Governor's Order makes three distinctions:
Closes specific types of businesses, including malls, places of amusement, and all personal care and grooming services. Still, these closed companies may engage in necessary business activities such as payroll, cleaning, and routine maintenance and upkeep.
Designates businesses that may remain open pursuant to federal guidelines for "essential" businesses, as defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the US Department of Homeland Security. Under Governor Edwards' directive, "essential" businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations, will remain operational. In addition, restaurants will be able to stay open for takeout and drive-through orders. For the full list of essential industries and occupations, read CISA guidance here. It is worth noting that businesses and manufacturers deemed essential to the state's supply chain, such as construction and energy, are also allowed to continue work.
To see a list of example essential businesses, click HERE for additional guidance from the Governor's office.
Authorizes all businesses not specifically required to close or listed as "essential" to reduce operations to essential employees, put measures in place to ensure minimal contact with customers and follow the guidelines on social distancing and limiting groups to no more than 10 people.
Each of us has a role to play in reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our Community Learn how you can help below
Why do we want to "Flatten the Curve"
The goal in fighting an epidemic or pandemic is to completely halt the spread of the virus.
Simply slowing its spread is also critical. Slowing the spread reduces the number of cases that are active at any given time, which gives doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, schools and first responders more time to prepare and respond without becoming overwhelmed.
Slowing and spreading out a large number of cases will save lives. Flattening the curve enables more people to stay healthier longer so that there are fewer people at home all at once, meaning more are available to keep critical systems going for those who are sick.
Why ARE those two curves important?
The graph above shows a model of how the number of new cases add up over time. The more people reporting with the virus on a given day, the higher the curve in red shows; a high curve means the virus is spreading fast. The lower curve in gray shows the virus is spreading slower, so fewer people are being diagnosed with it. Keeping the curve down, or 'flat' like the gray one means that fewer new cases are occurring, more people are able to stay healthy longer. More healthy people means fewer at the hospital at any given time which prevents the medical system from becoming overwhelmed.
What can we do to turn the red curve into the gray curve?
Diseases spread when one person gives it to one or more other people, who then go on to give it to more people, and so on. How fast this occurs depends on many factors, including:
how contagious the disease is
how many people are vulnerable
how quickly they get sick.
The difference between seasonal flu and coronavirus is that many people have full or partial immunity to the flu virus because they have had it before or were vaccinated against it. Far more people are vulnerable to coronavirus, so it can be spread more easily. Using social distancing measures to keep people apart, using self-isolation and actual quarantine decreases opportunities for transmission. Efforts to keep people farther apart, makes each transmission opportunity less likely. This slows the spread.