Louisiana – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions through 31 July 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


Louisiana Department of Health coronavirus resource page.

  • March 2, 2020—Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the creation of a COVID-19 Task Force.
  • March 11, 2020—Governor Edwards declared a public health emergency to allow state agencies to thoroughly prepare for any eventuality related to public health needs and deploy additional resources to assist local authorities. The declaration also addresses efforts to prevent price gouging and limits state employee travel. 
  • March 13, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order postponing elections in Louisiana, including the Louisiana Presidential Primary.
  • March 13, 2020 – The Governor signed a proclamation that immediately halts any gathering of more than 250 people until April 13 and closes all K-12 public schools statewide effective March 16 until April 13.
  • March 17,2020 – The Governor ordered bars, gyms and movie theaters to close and limited restaurants to delivery and takeout.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor announced measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including further limiting the size of gatherings to fewer than 50 people, closing casinos, bars and movie theaters and limiting restaurants to delivery, take out and drive-through orders only.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor requested the Small Business Administration provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans for Orleans and Jefferson parishes.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor announced that shelter in place may be necessary for some Louisiana localities to stem the spread of COVID-19.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor suspended foreclosures and evictions in the state.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor announced LA Wallet, the state of Louisiana’s official digital driver’s license, will be made available to residents free of charge. The all-digital identification and driver’s license app will temporarily suspend fees.
  • March 18, 2020—The Governor sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence requesting temporary changes to several federal programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
    • An expansion of the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service hot food waiver to allow the purchase of hot food in Louisiana restaurants through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program;
    • Statutory and administrative changes related to Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery;
    • Recommendations for FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program and Public Assistance program. 
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor warned President Donald Trump that his state could exceed capacity to treat patients in one week.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor updated his public health emergency declaration to provide waivers for education requirements and to speed up testing.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor announced that all Louisiana parishes would be eligible for small business disaster aid.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor signed and updated to his Public Health Emergency declaration, which waives some education requirements in the law and also suspends some laboratory requirements to speed the process of coronavirus testing.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor signed and updated the Public Health Emergency.  
  • March 22, 2020 – The Governor issued a statewide Stay at Home Order.
  • March 23, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Louisiana’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables Louisiana to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, and extend fair hearing and appeals timelines.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor requested a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Louisiana as the number of cases of COVID-19 grow. The declaration would allow the federal government to provide additional support for state and local agencies in dealing with this growing public health threat.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor signed a proclamation outlining additional response measures in Louisiana, including provisions related to first responders, law enforcement and granting emergency authority to the insurance commissioner.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor announced the opening of a Louisiana Economic Development help desk, providing email and hotline support for Louisiana businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor announced  a new Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program, which will offer loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses of fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • April 2, 2020 — The Governor announced eased eligibility requirements for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, which provides tuition assistance for Louisiana residents.  
  • April 2, 2020 – The Governor announced a new text alert system that will provide timely COVID-19 updates and other critical guidance directly from the governor’s office to Louisiana residents.
  • April 2, 2020 – The Governor formally extended his Stay at Home order until April 30 which extends the length of time that schools and some businesses are closed and continues limits on the size of gatherings.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order related to unemployment and other issues related to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, as it seeks to manage the influx in unemployment claims.
  • April 9, 2020 – The Governor’s response fund approved the first grant from the Governor’s COVID-19 Response Fund which will feed children in southern Louisiana.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor announced the creation of a Healthy Equity Task Force which will look at how health inequities are affecting communities that are most impacted by the coronavirus.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor postponed Louisiana’s election again and is now rescheduled for July 11th.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor signed a proclamation closing K-12 public schools in Louisiana to students until the end of the current school year, with students getting their education via remote learning.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor announced the creation of Resilient Louisiana, a state commission charged with examining Louisiana’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic and making recommendations for more resilient business-related activities and commerce in the coming months.
  • April 20, 2020 – The Louisiana Department of Health issued a revised order for medical and surgical procedures. The revised guidelines go into effect April 27th and state that medical and surgical procedures shall only be performed under the following conditions:
    • To treat an emergency medical condition;
    • To avoid further harms from an underlying condition or disease; and
    • To treat time sensitive conditions.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor announced two co-chairs and appointed members to the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and several subcommittees. The chairs are:
    • Dr. Sandra C. Brown, Dean of Southern University’s College of Nursing and Allied Health
    • Dr. Thomas LaVeist, Dean of Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • April 27, 2020 – The Governor announced that he will extend the stay-at-home order until May 15.
  • April 29, 2020 – The Governor will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Trump to discuss the states’ response to COVID-19.
  • May 1, 2020 – The Governor released two new PSAs encouraging Louisianans to comply with the extended Stay at Home Order to slow the spread of Covid-19 and ultimately meet the White House guidelines for entering Phase One.
  • May 4, 2020 – The Governor has activated a new, web-based program to assist businesses and religious organizations with safely resuming operations as the public health emergency due to COVID-19 continues.
  • May 5, 2020 – The Governor announced  that the State has committed $10,382,000 in community development block grant (CDBG) funds to the City of New Orleans to support nine affordable rental housing projects that were in danger of losing their funding as a result of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor and the Louisiana Department of Health outlined a plan for COVID-19 testing and tracking that would hire as many as 700 Louisianans to serve as contact tracers. 
  • May 11, 2020 – The Governor will move to Phase One under the White House COVID-19 guidance Friday, May 15, which removes the Stay at Home order for Louisianans and allows additional businesses to open under strict occupancy, protection and social distancing guidelines.
  • May 11, 2020- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Louisiana’s second request for a Medicaid 1135 waiver. The waiver allows Louisiana to lift prior authorization requirements, waive consent requirements for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), to modify timelines for levels of care determinations, and to reimburse for personal care provided by legally responsible individuals, including family caregivers
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor formally declared that Louisiana will enter into Phase One of its Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana on Friday, May 15, when the Stay at Home order will be lifted and more businesses will be allowed to open with strict social distancing, enhanced sanitation and required masks for employees helping the public.
  • May 15, 2020 – A U.S. District Judge of the Middle District of Louisiana denied Rev. Tony Spell’s motion for a Temporary Restraining Order against Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Stay at Home order.
  • June 1, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state is ready to move to Phase 2 of the White House’s reopening strategy on June 5.
  • June 22, 2020 – The Governor announced that Louisiana will stay in Phase Two of reopening, as the number of COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations have started to rise in several regions across the state. The Governor will extend his Phase Two order for another 28 days, keeping in place occupancy limits and other restrictions.
  • June 24, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state will be postponing Phase 3 of reopening due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
  • July 3, 2020 – The Governor released a new PSA encouraging Louisianans to wear a mask or face covering when out in public as the state continues to see the number of new COVID-19 cases rise.
  • July 8, 2020 – The Governor announced that $50 million through the CARES Act for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) Fund is now available for K-12 schools and Higher Education.  Approximately $35 million will be made available to the Louisiana Dept. of Education and $15 million to the Board of Regents. 
  • July 11, 2020 – The Governor announced a mandatory mask requirement for Louisiana and ordered bars in the state closed to on-premises consumption, as the state experiences increasing spread of COVID-19. The Governor also limited indoor social gatherings like wedding receptions, class reunions and parties to 50 total people. With these additional restrictions, Louisiana remains in Phase Two of the Roadmap for a Resilient Louisiana.
  • July 23, 2020 – The Governor signed a renewal of the current proclamation extending Phase Two in the state, which includes the statewide mask mandate and additional restrictions, until August 7.