Louisiana - COVID-19 Covered

Louisiana

Total Cases: 40,341 (June 2)
Tests Administered: 387,370 (June 1)
Fatalities: 2,801 (June 2)
Testing:
  • A mobile testing site will open in St. James Parish on May 11. Patients will not need a doctor’s order to get tested. (May 5)
  • The federal government has committed to sending 200,000 coronavirus testing kits a month to Louisiana. (May 4)
  • On May 4, a free drive-thru testing site will open in East Baton Rouge Parish. An appointment is required to receive a test, but a doctor’s note is not necessary. (May 1)
  • The US Department of Health and Human Services will deliver 200,000 COVID-19 tests every month to Louisiana to assist in the state’s “phased reopening.” (April 29)
  • Governor Edwards announced that Louisiana will receive 200 more ventilators from the federal stockpile. (April 4)
  • Our Lady of the Lake in Livingston Parish is reportedly opening a drive-thru testing location for patients who have obtained a physician’s order. (March 31)

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Following Governor Edwards’ issuance of a statewide shelter in place, his office announced that the state will follow Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines for Essential Worker Functions, which includes “healthcare workers and caregivers, mental health and social service workers, pharmacy employees, workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail sales of food and beverage products, restaurant carryout and quick-serve food operations and food delivery employees, farmworkers, electricity, and utility industry employees, critical manufacturing employees (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food, chemicals), petroleum, natural and propane gas workers, transportation and logistics workers, communications and information technology employees, financial services and banking industry employees.” (March 22)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Pursuant to Phase Two of Louisiana’s reopening plan, beginning May 5, restaurants, retailers, and other businesses can increase their capacity to 50%. (June 1)
  • New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced businesses will be required to maintain logs of the names and contact information of patrons entering their establishments when the city reopens. The measure is intended to assist the city in contact tracing. (May 6)
  • The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Health, has launched a web-based program, Open Safely, ”to assist businesses and religious organizations with safely resuming operations” as the state public health emergency remains declared. (May 4)
  • Governor Edwards signed an executive order relating to unemployment requirements. The order temporarily eliminates the one-week wait time required to receive benefits, as well as suspends required medical examinations needed to obtain certain payments. (April 7)
  • Governor Edwards signed a proclamation that weakened medical licensing laws so that out-of-state health care workers can come practice in Louisiana. (March 31)
  • Governor Edwards updated social-distancing guidelines stipulate that all casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, gyms, and bars must close. (March 16)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will receive $73 million aid to support the state’s fishing industry following financial losses as a result of a COVID-19 pandemic. (May 27)
  • Evictions will be suspended through at least June 5 as part of Louisiana’s phased reopening. (May 14)
  • As part of the CARES Act, Louisiana will receive more than $18.3 million in coronavirus relief funding to support “low-income elderly and needy children, housing market disruptions, and reducing virus transmission.” (May 13)
  • Governor Edwards announced Louisiana has committed $10.3 million in community development block grant (CDBG) funds to New Orleans to support nine affordable rental housing projects “that were in danger of losing their funding” due to the coronavirus pandemic. (May 5)
  • Governor Edwards announced the creation of Resilient Louisiana, a commission that will study the state’s economy and make recommendations to support businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (April 16)
  • US Senator John Kennedy announced nearly $475 million in federal funding for Louisiana health care providers. (April 10)
  • As part of the federal coronavirus aid bill, the CDC will award $2.9 million to Louisiana to support efforts to combat COVID-19. (April 6)
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced more than $45 million in aid to Louisiana’s coronavirus response efforts. (April 6)
  • The Louisiana Department of Insurance issued an emergency order stipulating that insurance companies may not cancel policies in Louisiana during the pandemic if policyholders continue to pay premiums. (March 26)
  • The Trump Administration approved Governor Edwards’s request for a statewide Major Disaster Declaration, which includes “Individual Assistance (including Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Case Management, Crisis Counseling, and Other Needs Assistance not limited to medical, dental, childcare, and funeral expenses) and Public Assistance for Emergency Protective Measures (Category B) as well as Direct Federal Assistance and assistance from the Community Disaster Loan Program.” (March 25)
  • Governor Edwards signed a proclamation that suspended several of the state’s legal deadlines, including Title 47 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Revenue, and Taxation. (March 16)
  • Governor Edwards signed an executive order banning price gouging for all goods and services. (March 11)

Business Support & Resources:

  • As part of the CARES Act, the Louisiana fishing and seafood industry will receive approximately $14.8 million in federal aid to help it overcome economic losses incurred due to COVID-19 pandemic. (May 7)
  • The Louisiana Loan Guaranty Program will distribute $30 million in loans to companies with fewer than 100 employees struggling through the coronavirus pandemic. (April 19)
  • Governor Edwards has recommended that small business owners apply for assistance for operational expenses via the Paycheck Protection Program. (April 4)
  • Governor Edwards announced that the state has created a text alert system that will provide COVID-19 updates. Residents can sign up for the program by texting “LACOVID” to 67283. (April 2)
  • Governor Edwards announced the creation of the Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program, which he said would “offer loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses of fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.” Payment on the loans will not be required for 180 days. (April 1)
  • Governor Edwards and Secretary Don Pierson announced the launch of a Louisiana Economic Development help desk that will provide phone and email support for businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. The help desk may be reached at LEDbiz@la.gov or by calling (833) 457-0531. (March 27)
  • Governor Edwards announced that SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza “confirmed” that Louisiana’s small businesses are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans. (March 19)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • No records found as of June 1.
  • Pursuant to Phase One of its “Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana,” Governor Edwards has lifted the state’s Stay at Home Order effective May 15. (May 15)

Curfews:

  • No statewide records found as of April 28.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • Governor Edwards has advised that people avoid groups larger than 10 people. (LDH) 
  • Governor Edwards signed an executive order that suspended travel for all state employees to areas “designated as Warning Level 2 or 3 or above by the CDC.” (March 11)  

Delivery Services:

  • Pursuant to Phase Two of Louisiana’s reopening plan, restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen with reduced capacity beginning June 5. (June 1)

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • Governor Edwards signed a proclamation ordering the closure of K-12 public schools in Louisiana for the remainder of the school year. Remote learning will continue in place of in-person classes. (April 15)
  • Governor Edwards signed a proclamation suspending requirements for state testing and requirements regarding the number of workdays for teachers for the 2019-2020 school year, among other provisions. (March 19)

State Higher Education:

  • As part of its Return-to-Campus Plan, Louisiana State University will “bring back critical personnel only, in a very limited capacity,” beginning May 18. (April 30) 
  • Governor Edwards signed a proclamation allowing all “public post-secondary institutions and proprietary schools within the state of Louisiana that are licensed by the Louisiana Board of regents” to hold online instruction and labs instead of in-person classes for the length of the emergency. (March 19 

Giving Oportunities

April 20, 2020

Primary supplies needed are N95 Mask (10,000), surgical gowns (10,000), and small bottles of hand sanitizer (20,000).

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com