Louisiana governor issues 'stay at home' directive for 4.6 million

BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide “stay at home” directive, ordering all 4.6 million people in Louisiana to stay at home starting at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 23 unless they're performing an essential task like getting food or medicine.

Workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, doctors' offices, and other critical infrastructure are exempt from the governor's directive.

“The bottom line is, we are in a race against time when it comes to this coronavirus, and it’s rapid spread in Louisiana,” Edwards said Sunday.

New York, California, Illinois, and some cities issued similar shelter in place or stay at home orders. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell had issued a similar order for that city two days ago.

As of Sunday, coronavirus infections in Louisiana have climbed to more than 830. Twenty people in the state have died of COVID-19, state health officials said.