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  • Writer's pictureSarah Anderson

Louisiana Shuts Down to Stop Coronavirus - Are You Essential?

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., the State of Louisiana will (but-for critical infrastructure) shut down.

On March 22, 2020, Governor John Bel Edwards issued 33 JBE 2020, invoking powers issued under the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, La. R.S. 29:721 et seq., ordering and directing the following measures to halt the spread of the Coronavirus:

  • No gatherings larger than 10 people (exempting airports, medical facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, factories, and office buildings);

  • All state offices will be closed;

  • All forms of entertainment are closed, including movie theaters, playgrounds, zoos, malls, music centers, and theme parks;

  • All grooming centers are closed, such as barber shops, nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlors; and

  • All individuals within the state of Louisiana are subject to a “Stay at Home” order unless:

o Obtaining food, medicine, or similar goods for themselves or family members;

o Going to or from a house of worship;

o Going to or from the home of a family member;

o Obtaining non-elective medical treatment; and

o Going to work to provide food or medical services to others.

The only other type of work exempted by the “Stay at Home” provision of 33 JBE 2020 is that determined by the Department of Homeland Security to be “essential.” According to a memorandum penned by Christopher C. Krebs, the director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Sharing Agency (CISA), individuals who work in a critical infrastructure industry, such as healthcare, “have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” CISA published a list of 14 “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” for state and local officials, which is advisory in nature and not to be considered exhaustive or a federal directive:

  1. Health Care/Public Health

  2. Law Enforcement, Public Safety, First Responders

  3. Food and Agriculture

  4. Energy

  5. Water and Wastewater

  6. Transportation and Logistics

  7. Public Works

  8. Communications and Information Technology

  9. Other Community-Based Government Operations and Essential Functions

  10. Critical Manufacturing

  11. Hazardous Materials

  12. Financial Services

  13. Chemical

  14. Defense Industrial Base

All businesses not included on CISA’s critical infrastructure list are ordered to be closed. These new directives are expected to last a minimum of 20 days – until April 12, 2020.

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