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 Coronavirus in Louisiana 


The Louisiana Department of Health posts once-daily case updates at 12 p.m. CST online at

To prevent the spread of infection, the Louisiana Department of Health is heavily engaged in priority public health actions. These actions include, but are not limited to:

  1. working with healthcare facilities with presumptive patients to identify exposed healthcare workers and make appropriate recommendations;
  2. ensuring all recommended infection control precautions are implemented in the healthcare facilities until we determine that the patient is no longer infectious,
  3. notifying and monitoring close contacts;
  4. coordinating with CDC

All information on this website reflects the most current information provided to the State. It is subject to change based on further investigations and will be updated accordingly.

About Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with recent outbreaks of MERS and SARS.

Questions about Coronavirus?

If you have questions about coronavirus, please contact the Louisiana 211 Network by dialing dial 211. Or, you can text the keyword LACOVID to 898-211 for the most current information about the outbreak as it becomes available.


For confirmed infections, reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms (similar to the common cold) to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

How does novel coronavirus spread?

Health experts are still learning the details about how this new coronavirus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:

  • Through respiratory droplets produced when coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes

Need to Talk? 

If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress, fear and anxiety about the uncertainty surrounding this public health emergency, there is a special Keeping Calm through COVID Hotline you can call. This connects you to trained, compassionate counselors who can offer support and who can direct you to mental health and substance abuse counseling services.

Call 1-866-310-7977 24/7

Trained counselors available 24/7. All calls are confidential.

Risk to the Public 

To minimize the risk of spread, Louisiana officials are advising the public to practice social distancing by not gathering with large groups of people. Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana and introduce the virus to new communities.

Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

The Department of Health is also working with health care providers to promptly identify and evaluate any suspected cases.

Confirmed cases in Louisiana have ranged from mild illness (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization. So far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions.

 COVID-19 STAY-AT-HOME Order Frequently Asked Questions
Updated April 20, 2020

Q: What is the difference between “Safer at Home” and “social distancing”?

A: Safer at home is a stricter form of social distancing. Safer at home means:

  • Stay home (stay unexposed and do not expose others)
  • Only go out for essential services
  • Stay six feet or more away from others
  • Don’t gather in groups

Q: What is a Stay at Home order?

A. A Stay at Home order is the Governor directing people to avoid going out in public unless it is absolutely necessary.

Q: Why is this Stay at Home order necessary?

A: Right now, COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout our state and some of our communities and, without taking additional measures, Louisiana’s health care system will have more sick people than it can care for. The state is working to increase its health care capacity, but people also need to take measures to prevent the spread of this illness. Our medical community is working overtime to take care of people who are sick, but it needs help from the public to keep even more people from needing care.

Q: When is it okay for me to leave my home?

A: People can leave their homes to do things like buy groceries or food, pick up medicine or go to work if their job is essential. If you have to go out, make sure you practice social distancing measures and keep 6 feet between you and the people around you. Also: people are encouraged to go outside and to stay active during this time, as long as they practice social distancing when they are around their neighbors.

Q: What if I need to get tested for coronavirus or to go to the doctor?

A: People can leave their homes for medical treatment or to get testing, but they should call their health care provider or doctor before doing so for advice. Your doctor may be able to help you via telemedicine or decide if you need to be tested by asking you questions on the phone. Do not show up to a testing site without consulting a medical professional first, because you may need a doctor’s order to qualify for a test. Unless it is an emergency, do not go to a health care facility without calling first, because you may put yourself at risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

Q: What businesses and jobs are considered essential?

A: Health care workers, public safety employees, some government workers, staff of grocery stores and restaurants and employees of some business are generally considered essential workers. Businesses like manufacturers and utilities have to continue operations to support our communities.

In general, the state of Louisiana follows guidance from the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) about what infrastructure and businesses are “critical” during the COVID-19 outbreak. For more detailed information from CISA, visit this site:

Q: How will this order be enforced?

A: The state is working with local law enforcement to support the order. There have been rumors about military control or martial law being declared. These rumors are false.

Q: Why is this order statewide? There are not a lot of cases confirmed in my area.

A: COVID-19 is rapidly spreading throughout the state and we know that some people do not show symptoms for 14 days, even if they are sick. Just because no one has tested positive in your community doesn’t mean that no one is sick. By enacting this Stay at Home order statewide, Gov. Edwards is working to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve.

Q: Is the Governor closing Louisiana’s borders and declaring martial law?

A: No. This is a rumor and is not based in fact. Members of Louisiana’s National Guard are deployed in Louisiana to help support local testing sites, so you may see members of the military in your community. Martial law has not been declared. Louisiana’s borders are not closed.

Q: When is the Stay at Home order going to be lifted?

A: The Stay at Home order is in place until the morning of Monday, April 13, which is when schools are scheduled to re-open. Governor Edwards will re-evaluate the order before it expires to make sure that it doesn’t need to be restricted.

Q: Where can people get more information about what the State of Louisiana is doing in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak?

A: The Governor’s office is constantly updating its website at, as is the Louisiana Department of Health at You can also call 211 for general information about COVID-19 and to get connected to help and resources.


Archived COVID-19 FAQs can be found here.