THE LATEST: Confirmed cases of coronavirus reported in La.

HOTLINE: Call 211 or text LACOVID to 898-211

THE LATEST: Confirmed cases of coronavirus reported in La.
COVID-19 is commonly known as coronavirus (Source: AP)

(WAFB) - Officials are tracking the number of cases of COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, across Louisiana.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide “stay at home” order effective until April 12 because of the threat of the novel coronavirus.

As of Tuesday, March 31 at 12 p.m. state health officials reported the following:

  • 5,237 positive cases
  • 239 deaths

The LDH COVID-19 dashboard does not include data on out-of-state residents, as that information is included in other states’ case counts.

PLEASE NOTE: The Louisiana Department of Health will update its website daily at noon.

ONE-STOP-SHOP: Everything you need to know related to Baton Rouge area impact of COVID-19


Governor John Bel Edwards on Sunday, March 22 issued a stay at home order for the state that started Monday, March 23. The order is set to expire at the end of the night on Sunday, April 12.

The order does not include a curfew. Individual parishes have authority to issue curfews.

For businesses, the new Stay at Home order has limits on the following:

  • All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, trampoline parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, pool halls, children’s play centers, playgrounds, theme parks, any theaters, concert and music halls, adult entertainment venues, racetracks, and other similar businesses.
  • All personal care and grooming businesses, including but not limited to, barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, and other similar businesses.
  • All malls, except for stores in a mall that have a direct outdoor entrance and exit that provide essential services and products as provided by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines.
  • Businesses closed to the public as listed in the order can conduct necessary activities such as payroll, cleaning services, maintenance or upkeep as necessary.
  • Any business not covered by the guidance from the CISA discussed in Section 3 of the order and not ordered to temporarily close must reduce operations to continue with minimum contact with members of the public and essential employees, while requiring proper social distancing, adhering to the 10-person limitation on gathering size.
  • Early learning centers and child care facilities adhering to the guidance issued by the Louisiana Department of Education and Office of Public Health may continue to operate.

Examples of Essential Worker Functions under the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines include:

  • 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
  • Farm workers
  • 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

See CISA essential business guidelines here.

Members of the public will still be allowed to go to grocery stores and pharmacies to pick up food, medicine and necessary supplies, go to their essential jobs and to go outside for exercise and fresh air. When leaving their home, people should practice social distancing.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide “stay at home” order effective at 5 p.m. Monday, March 23 because of the threat of the novel coronavirus. In a news conference Sunday, the governor told Louisiana residents to stay at home unless going out for essential tasks including trips to the grocery store and pharmacy.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide “stay at home” order effective at 5 p.m. Monday, March 23 because of the threat of the novel coronavirus. In a news conference Sunday, the governor told Louisiana residents to stay at home unless going out for essential tasks including trips to the grocery store and pharmacy. (Source: Governor's Office)


LDH is offering a counseling service 24/7 for those who may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the outbreak. The service is available to help anyone trying to cope with the associated stress. Trained counselors will provide information for services related to mental health and substance abuse related to coronavirus. Call 1-866-310-7977.

Until Sunday, March 15, cases that returned a positive result were classified as presumptive positive. They remained that way until confirmed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

The CDC later noted that lab tests have proven to be reliable and CDC confirmation is no longer needed. Now, if a case is returned positive, it does not have to get a second confirmation.

Testing begins in-state, at hospitals or at private laboratories.

Patients suspected of infection are assessed by staff first. The staff then requests a state courier come pick up a sample that’s sent to a state lab in Baton Rouge for testing.

After being confirmed positive, there must be 2 negative tests before a patient is considered recovered.

Testing for a single person can take between three to four testing kits, Governor John Bel Edwards said, so having a specific number of kits doesn’t mean that number of people can be tested.

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is notified of any presumptive positive results.

Officials say they’re treating presumptive positive cases as actual positives.

State health officials are “contact tracing” those patients, meaning they’re reaching out to those who have been in close contact with those patients and requesting they be tested.


Residents are advised to maintain proper hygiene by:

  • Staying home if sick
  • Covering their cough
  • Washing their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol should be used if soap isn’t available.
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
  • Maintaining at least six feet of distances with sick people

"I am asking all Louisianans to remain vigilant as we work to contain the spread of this and other illnesses," said Edwards.

“We can limit this, but it’s going to require everyone to do their part,” said Gov. Edwards. “It looks as though this is going to get worse for some period before it gets better, but how much worse is really dependent on whether people do what we’re telling them.”

Gov. Edwards on March 11 signed an executive order declaring a public health emergency, meaning utilities cannot be disrupted for nonpayment, laws banning price gouging are active, and emergency funding can get to municipalities easier.

Read the latest proclamation from Gov. Edwards by clicking the link here.


COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus, a family of viruses known to cause a range of respiratory illnesses.

Symptoms of the coronavirus can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing. The CDC believes symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Symptoms may be mild for some healthy individuals. In older adults and individuals with existing health issues, COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory illnesses.

It’s spread through respiratory droplets produced through coughing and sneezing, or by touching your face, nose, or eyes after touching a surface contaminated with the virus.

The virus is not a death sentence as rumored on social media.

Recovery can happen in a matter of weeks, health officials have stressed.

"Now together we all, as government, as healthcare systems and providers, as schools, businesses and as neighbors, must take actions and be vigilant to prevent the spread of this virus in our great state," said Edwards.

Louisianans with questions are asked to call LDH’s general information line at 1-855-523-2652 or the state’s hotline at 211 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also text LACOVID to 898-211 or visit their help website by clicking here.

More information is also available on LDH’s website linked here.

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