JBE coronavirus (copy)

Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks in a press conference on Wednesday, March 11.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a stay at home order for all Louisiana residents in light of the state's growing number of COVID-19 cases. 

Exceptions include grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, medical appointments, delivery and drive-thrus, and exercise and walking pets, according to the order. 

Edwards announced the order in a 2 p.m. news conference and said it will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday. The need for the order will be re-evaluated on Sunday, April 12. 

"We're going to have to have more isolation in order to be able to flatten the curve," Edwards said in the press conference. "We don't want everyone being infected all at once, to then create an immediate and overwhelming demand on health care resources." 

Less than 2 weeks ago, Louisiana had no known coronavirus cases. As of March 22, 837 cases and 20 deaths have been reported. 

New Orleans remains the epicenter of the state's outbreak, with 451 cases. New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a city wide order for all residents to stay in their homes on Thursday. 

Edwards also mandated closures for non-essential businesses and limited group gatherings to less than 10 people, as recommended by the federal government. Louisiana residents are advised to stay home even if they are asymptomatic.

"We're going to get through this, but we're going to do it because we're going to comply with these directives," Edwards said in the press conference.

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