Governor bans large gatherings, closes public schools


Andres Fuentes

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards speaks to his supporters at the New Orleans Jazz Market on September 25, 2019. The Governor has signed a proclamation banning public gatherings of more than 250 people and closing public schools across the state until April in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

Erin Snodgrass

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation today immediately halting all gatherings of more than 250 people, and closing all K-12 public schools across the state until Monday, April 13.

The move comes as Louisiana’s number of presumed positive COVID-19 cases passes 30.

The proclamation also directs many state workers to begin working remotely.

“We are at an inflection point now and we are going to take bold action to minimize the further spread of this illness,” Edwards said in a press release.

In a separate order, Edwards moved the upcoming elections from April and May to June and July, a request made by Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin.

According to Edwards’ press release, the limit on 250 people is based on federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for areas experiencing community spread of the virus.

“These steps are necessary to protect the health and safety of the people of Louisiana from the risk of COVID-19,” Edwards said.

The Governor will hold a joint media briefing with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell at New Orleans City Hall, today, at 3 p.m. The briefing will be streamed live on Facebook.

Louisiana is just one of many states across the nation taking steps to attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus by cancelling public gatherings like major sporting events and school.