Governor Edwards just issued a "stay-at-home" order for the State of Louisiana, which will go into effect at 5:00 pm, Monday, March 23, 2020 and remain in place until Monday, April 13, 2020, unless otherwise terminated by his office. The document can be accessed here
. The order cancels all gatherings of 10 or more people. Adopting increased restrictions for everyday activities, the order directs all individuals within the state to stay at home unless performing an essential activity. Per the order, an activity is "essential" if it is one of the following:
- Obtaining food, medicine, and other similar goods necessary for the individual or a family member of the individual.
- Obtaining non-elective medical care and treatment and other similar vital services for an individual or a family member of the individual.
- Going to and from an individual's workplace to perform a job function necessary to provide goods or services being sought in Subsections (A) and (B) of this Section, or as otherwise deemed essential worker functions. Guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on what workers are essential is outlined at https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19.
- Going to and from the home of a family member.
- Going to and from an individual's place of worship.
- Engaging in outdoor activity, provided individuals maintain a distance of six feet from one another and abide by the 10-person limitation on gathering size established in this proclamation.
With respect to "essential worker functions" that would be exempt from the order, the Governor's order cites to the list established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Department states that this list is advisory in nature and should not be viewed as a federal directive or standard in and of itself. The list includes 14 broad categories of essential employment sectors: Healthcare / Public Health; Law Enforcement, Public Safety, First Responders; Food And Agriculture; Energy (Electric, Petroleum, Natural and Propane Gas); Water and Wastewater; Transportation and Logistics; Public Works; Communications And Information Technology; Other Community-Based Government Operations And Essential Functions; Critical Manufacturing; Hazardous Materials; Financial Services; Chemical; and Defense Industrial Base.
It appears that Governor Edwards' office utilized this list so that interstate commerce would have a uniform, albeit broad, set of rules. However, how local businesses and intrastate commerce should interpret and abide by these broad rules is less clear. If you have questions about the order's applicability to your operations, please contact our office and we will work to get you an answer.