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Heading into weekend, Gov. John Bel Edwards pleads for residents to stay home

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BATON ROUGE - On a day when Louisiana saw its most deaths related to COVID-19, Gov. John Bel Edwards said the state's success in gaining control of coronavirus going forward depends on residents' compliance to mitigation measures, including his stay-at-home order.

"If we're going to flatten the curve, if we're going to lessen the burden on our healthcare system, if we're going to save lives, we must have full cooperation from all Louisianians," Edwards said. "And we have to have it now."

Hours before the stimulus bill that will provide Louisiana with $1.8 billion in coronavirus aid was signed into law, Edwards reiterated that practicing self-isolation and social distancing will help flatten the curve and lessen the state's New York or Italy-like trajectory. He urged residents to follow his stay-at-home order that went into effect Monday.

"The success that we will have in slowing the spread will be dependent on individuals all across the state of Louisiana," Edwards said. "So please, no unnecessary travel. Stay home."

Across the state, empty streets, restaurants, and bars come as a welcome sight for Edwards ahead of a critical weekend to slow down Louisiana's rise in cases. 

Modeling shows at the current rate, New Orleans-area hospitals could be out of ventilators by April 2, with beds soon to follow. 

"Quite frankly, we don't have much longer to wait," Edwards said. "April 2 is coming up sooner than we'd like."

During this uncertain time, Edwards says what is certain is that everyone, everywhere in the state has a role to play.

"We are going to get through this, Edwards said. "Exactly when, I can't tell you, and exactly in what shape, I cannot tell you. I can tell you it will be faster and better if more people comply. There are an awful lot of Louisianians out there doing their part, but we can do better."

After a week of pleas and appeals, Edwards again says compliance to the mitigation measures is the only positive way forward.

"This is just something we have to do," Edwards said. "We don't really have a choice. Unless we just don't care whether people die who otherwise wouldn't need to die. That's just not how Louisianians behave, that's not what we believe."


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