New Orleans Mayor: ‘Stay Home’ order after 14 deaths, 537 cases of COVID-19 in state

Updated: Mar. 21, 2020 at 6:46 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Friday afternoon that she was issuing a Stay Home mandate to help slow the spread in one of the areas of the country that has seen a skyrocket in the number of COVID-19 cases..

The Louisiana Department of Health is reporting that there are 537 cases of the COVID-19 virus in the state. At least 14 people have died. Most of them have been in the New Orleans area.

“We are trying to keep city government rolling and solvent,” Cantrell said. “We are ready to enforce.”

She said the city has not seen the curve of coronavirus flatten.

Businesses need to find a way to keep people at home. RTA will only offer essential services. City leaders are expecting a large number of results which will be “very sobering.” There will be a substantial spread of COVID-19, the mayor said.


“You can go to the grocery, healthcare facilities, pharmacies and takeout restaurants,” Cantrell said. She added that people will still be able to do recreational activities, like bike riding and walking. Residents just should not do those activities in large groups.

New Orleans was the first city in the country to roll out federal test sites. Two are open in Orleans Parish and a third is opening soon in Jefferson Parish.

“We plan to expand testing city-wide,” Cantrell said.

Her administration said people should stay home, hunker down, call loved ones - Right now, staying together is staying apart.

So far, 13 people have died from the virus, with at least five of those deaths being among residents at the senior assisted living facility Lambeth House.

The latest three deaths reported on Friday are a 38-year-old Catahoula Parish resident, a 72-year-old man from Orleans Parish, and a 77-year-old Jefferson Parish resident. Both had underlying medical conditions, the state health department said.


St. Tammany Parish reported their first death in the parish Friday morning. According to officials with the Louisiana Department of Health, because the patient was from Mississippi, his death will be included in Mississippi’s counts.

Officials continue to push ways to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

These precautions include:

  • Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and frequently
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with your arm
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
  • Avoiding close contact with others
  • And staying home if you are sick

The first case of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, was announced in New Orleans on March 9.

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