Facing growing numbers of coronavirus cases, Louisiana to close casinos, bars, restaurants

Published 1:37 pm Monday, March 16, 2020

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Monday afternoon the state would close close casinos, bars and movie theaters and limit restaurants to delivery or take-out only orders in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19, coronavirus.

Edwards’ mandate will go into effect at midnight and comes after the state has confirmed 132 cases of coronavirus and two deaths.

“More aggressive steps are necessary to fight the spread of COVID-19 across Louisiana. Following additional guidance from the CDC, gatherings of more than 50 people are no longer permitted, bars and casinos must close and restaurants will only be able to offer take out or delivery,” Edwards said. “These limitations were difficult to make, but they are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, protect the health of Louisianans and flatten the curve.”

“What we’re learning is that it can take two weeks for symptoms to appear. We believe we are still unearthing community spread that’s been around for the past several weeks, which means it is a statewide problem that requires statewide solutions,” Edwards said. “In addition to meeting with Sen. Bill Cassidy this morning who is supportive of our efforts, I was also on a call with President Trump and Vice President Pence that lasted more than an hour and they were very clear that we must significantly expand our mitigation efforts to slow the progress of COVID-19 before there is more community spread. Action must be taken now, even in areas where there are no confirmed cases yet.”

The Governor will update his public health emergency proclamation to include the following:

Gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people.
Casinos and bars will be closed.
Restaurants will be closed to patrons eating on site. Take-out, drive-through and delivery orders are allowed.
Movie theaters will be closed.