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Louisiana Proclamation No 25 JBE 2020 - Public Health Emergency - Covid-19

State of Louisiana
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

PROCLAMATION NUMBER 25 JBE 2020

PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY - COVID-19

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Health Emergency  Powers Act, La. R.S. 29:760,  et seq., confers upon the Governor of the State of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with public health emergencies, including an occurrence or imminent threat of an illness or health condition that is believed to be caused by the appearance of a novel or previously controlled or eradicated infectious agent or biological toxin, in order to ensure that preparations of this state will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters and to preserve the health and lives of the people of the State of Louisiana;

WHEREAS, when the Governor after consultation with the public health authority determines that a public health emergency has occurred, or the threat thereof is imminent, La. R.S. 29:766(A) empowers him to declare a state of emergency by executive order or proclamation;

WHEREAS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in many other countries, including in the United States. The virus has been named "SARS-CoV-2" and the disease it causes has been named "coronavirus disease 2019" (abbreviated "COVID-19");

WHEREAS, according to the CDC's website, person-to-person spread has been subsequently reported in countries outside China, including in the United States. Some international destinations now have apparent community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19, as do some parts of the United States. Community spread means some people have been infected and it is not known how or where they became exposed;

WHEREAS, on January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern" (PHEIC). On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation's healthcare community in responding to COVID-19;

WHEREAS, a World Health Organization statement released March 7, 2020 stated that the global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surpassed 100,000;

WHEREAS, as of March 11, 2020, the CDC's website reports that 38 states, including the District of Columbia, have reported cases of COVID-19 to CDC, for a total of 938 confirmed cases, and that states have reported 29 deaths resulting from COVID-19;

WHEREAS, on March, l l, 2020, the World Health Organization designated the COVID-19 outbreak as a worldwide pandemic;

WHEREAS, on March, 9, 2020, a Louisiana resident, pursuant to CDC protocol, was tested for COVID-19, with the test being presumptively positive;

WHEREAS,          in the last two days, several more Louisiana residents have tested presumptively positive for COVID-19;

WHEREAS, the State of Louisiana has reason to believe that COVID-19 may be spread amongst the population by various means of exposure, therefore posing a high probability of widespread exposure and a significant risk of substantial future harm to a large number of Louisiana citizens;

WHEREAS,        the Governor of the State of Louisiana has consulted with the public health authority regarding COVID-19;

WHEREAS,         the Governor, after such consultation, finds that a threat of a public health emergency is imminent;

WHEREAS, a declaration of public health emergency is necessary to allow state agencies to thoroughly prepare for any eventuality related to public health needs and deploy additional resources to assist local authorities, if necessary; and

WHEREAS, the Secretary of the Department of Health and the State Health Officer have requested that a public health emergency be declared.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: Pursuant to the Louisiana Health Emergency Powers Act, La. R.S. 29:760, et seq., a statewide public health emergency is declared to exist in the State of Louisiana as a result of the imminent threat posed to Louisiana citizens by COVID-19, which has created emergency conditions that threaten the lives and health of the citizens of the State.

SECTION 2: The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and Secretary of the Department of Health are hereby expressly empowered to take any and all actions authorized under the Louisiana Health Emergency Powers Act, La. R.S. 29:760 et seq. in relation to this public health emergency.

SECTION 3: The Secretary of the Department of Health and/or the State Health Officer are hereby expressly empowered to take any and all actions authorized thereto under Titles 29 and 40 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes and under the State Sanitary Code (LAC Title 51) in relation to this public health emergency.

SECTION 4: Pursuant to La. R.S. 29:724(D)(l), the Louisiana Procurement Code (La. R.S. 39:1551, et seq.) and Louisiana Public Bid Law (La. R.S. 38:2211, et seq.) and their corresponding rules and regulations are hereby suspended for the purpose of the procurement of any good or services necessary to respond to this emergency.

SECTION 5: Pursuant to La. R.S. 29:732(A), prices charged or value received for goods and services sold may not exceed the prices ordinarily charged for comparable goods and services in the same market area at or immediately before the time of the state of emergency, unless the price by the seller is attributable to fluctuations in applicable commodity markets, fluctuations in applicable regional or national market trends, or to reasonable expenses and charges and attendant business risk

incurred in procuring or selling the goods or services during the state of emergency.

SECTION 6: In addition to any authority conferred generally herein or by law, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, through consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Health, shall have the primary jurisdiction, responsibility and authority for:

  1. Planning and executing public health emergency assessment, mitigation, preparedness response, and recovery for the state;

  1. Coordinating public health emergency response between state and local authorities;

  1. Collaborating with relevant federal government authorities, elected officials of other states, private organizations or companies;

  1. Coordinating recovery operations and mitigation initiatives subsequent to public health emergencies;

  1. Organizing public information activities regarding public health emergency response operations; and

  1. Taking any other measures deemed necessary and proper, as authorized by law.

SECTION 7:         The following travel restrictions will apply to all state employees:

    1. All state employees intending to travel beyond the continental United States shall review the CDC's website at http,:// wwwnc.cdc.u;ov/travel/noticesto determine if the country to be visited has been identified as posing a threat of contracting COVID-19;

    1. All state employees traveling on state business to areas designated as Warning Level 2 or Level 3 or above by the CDC are hereby directed to cancel or postpone these trips; all employees traveling internationally to other countries are hereby required to obtain specific authorization from the Commissioner of Administration;

    1. All state employees intending to travel internationally for non-official reasons are hereby directed to notify their supervisor and Human Resources Director of the travel as soon as possible, but in no event later than forty­ eight (48) hours prior to travel, and immediately upon return to the United States;

    1. All state employees with household members who intend to travel or have traveled to areas designated as Warning Level 2 or Level 3 or above by the CDC are hereby directed to notify their supervisor and Human Resources Director of the travel as soon as possible, but in no event later than forty­ eight (48) hours prior to the household member's departure, to state the household member's expected date of return, and to notify their supervisor and Human Resources Director immediately upon the household member's actual return to the United States; and

    1. All state employees shall notify their supervisor and Human Resources Director if the employee or a household member develops symptoms associated with COVID-19.

SECTION 8: The Civil Service Commission and the Division of Administration are hereby directed to develop a set of guidelines for state employees who are infected with COVID-19 or under quarantine for possible exposure to COVID-19. Such guidelines shall include direction for the management of sick leave by state

employees and provide for direction, if possible, for the employee to work remotely. The guidelines developed by the Civil Service Commission and the Division of Administration shall be put into effect by this order.

SECTION 9: All orders allowing for visitation by the parent of a foster child that resides in a home that is quarantined or isolated due to COVID-19 are hereby suspended. The Department of Child and Family Services is hereby ordered to make all reasonable efforts to allow for alternative visitation.

SECTION 10: This Proclamation shall be disseminated promptly by mean reasonably calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public. The Proclamation shall also be promptly filed with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, with the Department of Health, Office of Public Health, and with the Secretary of State.

SECTION 11: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies and officers of the State, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate in actions the State may take in response to the effects of this event.

SECTION 12: This order is effective upon signature and shall remain in effect from Wednesday, March 11, 2020 to Thursday, April 9, 2020, unless terminated sooner.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana in the City of Baton Rouge on this 11th day of March 2020.

GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA

ATTEST

BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE

Last updated: Sunday, March 22, 2020