A “shelter in place” order “may be necessary” for some Louisiana localities to stem the spread of coronavirus, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said on Wednesday.
Asked during a press conference whether “shelter in place” orders similar to those employed in several California locations were possible, Edwards responded, “I think people ought to start preparing themselves, in their minds, for advanced mitigation as they become necessary.”
“Quite frankly, there are only a few more that we could put into place that we haven’t already done, that being one of them,” Edwards added. “Hopefully, it would not be necessary to do that for the state, but it may be necessary to do that for certain localities.”
“Based on all the information that we have and the guidance we’re receiving, as a nation and as a state, we have two weeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” Edwards said. “We don’t want to look like Italy two weeks from now. There is no reason to believe we won’t look like Italy if we don’t do what we’re being asked to do between now and then and minimize the spread.”
Edwards said the state had a total of 257 cases as of Wednesday, with two new cases in Baton Rouge, as well as two deaths Wednesday morning, both involving patients in their 90s.
Increased testing capacity, he predicted, would likely lead the recorded number of cases to “jump tremendously” in the next 48 hours.
Edwards added that he has requested financial assistance from the state’s Small Business Administration to aid businesses affected by the pandemic in all 64 parishes.