No public gathering of more than 250 people will be allowed in Louisiana until April 13, including K-12 public schools statewide, according to a proclamation signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards today.
The proclamation goes into effect March 16, as Louisiana seeks to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
As of mid-day, Louisiana has 33 presumptive positive cases of the virus.
Edwards will address the order at his 3 p.m. joint media briefing with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell at New Orleans City Hall and be live-streamed on Edwards’ Facebook page.
Additionally, the presidential primary elections in Louisiana scheduled for April will be delayed until June 20, according to Sec. of State Kyle Ardoin.
"This decision has been made out of an absolute abundance of caution for Louisiana's voters, voting officials and the general public as a whole," Ardoin said.
More than half of the state's election-day commissioners are 65 or older, and 32 polling locations are in nursing homes or other senior facilities, Ardoin said.
Ardoin's office highlighted state law allowing for "emergency suspension or delays and rescheduling" of elections due to the possibility of an emergency or disaster.
The governor, through an executive order declaring a state of emergency, can suspend or delay elections “only upon the certification of the secretary of state that a state of emergency exists,” according to state law.