Edwards to extend stay at home order

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (Madeline Meyer/LSU Manship School News Service)

Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday during a press conference that he will extend Louisiana’s “stay at home” order through the end of April. The original order was supposed to end April 13, but he said Monday he would extend it to April 30. The extended “stay at home” order will keep schools and nonessential businesses closed. Restaurants will still be limited to delivery and takeout and gatherings above 10 people banned.

Based on new federal guidelines from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Edwards said he may tweak his order to change which businesses and workers are deemed “essential,” and therefore allow them to remain open or go to work.

His decision comes a day after President Donald Trump extended guidelines for social distancing through the end of April.

During the press conference, Edwards thanked Trump for revising the guidelines.

“This is obviously very helpful for states like ours because it sends a clear message that we are nowhere near over the hump. That we still have an awful lot of work to do to try to flatten the curve, and I think it creates a realistic expectation in the public about the time horizon that we are on,” Edwards said.

As of Monday, the state had confirmed 4,025 cases of the coronavirus and 185 deaths. The number of people hospitalized, 1,158 and those on ventilators, 385, stayed relatively steady from the day before, and the governor noted a “slight positive trend” in the figures.