Gov. Edwards closes schools, halts large gatherings 

    Gov. John Bel Edwards today signed a proclamation that among other actions immediately halts any gathering of more than 250 people until Monday, April 13, and closes all K-12 public schools statewide effective Monday, March 16, through April 13, as Louisiana seeks to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state. 

    As of midday Friday, Louisiana has 33 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.

    Edwards will address this order at a 3 p.m. joint media briefing with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell at New Orleans City Hall, which will also be live-streamed at Facebook.com/LouisianaGov.

    “We are at an inflection point now and we are going to take bold action to minimize the further spread of this illness. That is why I am issuing this order today, ending all events of more than 250 people, closing our schools, and reducing the amount of face-to-face public interaction at state government buildings,” Edwards said. “In a separate executive order, I will grant Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s request to move our upcoming elections for April and May to June and July. The limits on gatherings of 250 people or more statewide is based on federal CDC guidance given the community spread which we are currently experiencing. These steps are necessary to protect the health and safety of the people of Louisiana from the risk of COVID-19.”