This article was updated on May 20, 2020. Read the updated version here.
On April 30, 2020, noting that “over the last two weeks, the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana has decreased significantly, and there is significant evidence that Louisiana has flattened the curve of the virus”, but further noting that (a) “there are several regions of the state where the number of incidences [of COVID-19] have increased in recent days”, (b) “Louisiana continues to have the sixth highest number of per capita cases in the country with over 28,000 infected,” and (c) “thus far, Louisiana does not yet meet the criteria set by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to move into Phase 1,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation further extending until May 15, 2020 (unless terminated sooner or later extended), the statewide stay at home order that he originally issued on March 22, 2020, in connection with the statewide public health emergency that he declared on March 11, 2020. As previously reported, the March 22 stay at home order provided that “without additional measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state, health care facilities in parts of the state or even throughout the state are at significant risk of being overwhelmed” and instructed all individuals within the state of Louisiana to stay home unless performing an essential activity. The March 22 stay at home order, as well as the subsequent April 2 proclamation and current April 30 proclamation, define essential activities to include, among other activities (such as obtaining food, going to and from the home of a family member, and going to and from certain places of employment that remain open subject to certain conditions), obtaining medicine and “non-elective medical care and treatment and other similar vital services for an individual or a family member of the individual.” For information concerning the elective medical and surgical procedures and other healthcare services permitted during the declared statewide COVID-19 public health emergency (which procedures and services continue to expand), please see our April 27 blog entry.