St. Martin Parish President Chester R. Cedars
April 4, 2020
6:00 P.M.


The LDH report released today reflects that there are now 12,496 positive COVID-19 tests in Louisiana and 409 deaths. The number of reported positive tests in surrounding areas is 714 with 20 deaths:

  • Lafayette Parish: 229 cases, 4 deaths
  • Calcasieu Parish: 135 cases, 3 deaths
  • Iberia Parish: 68 cases, 3 deaths
  • Acadia Parish: 65 cases, 2 deaths
  • St. Mary Parish: 65 cases
  • St. Martin Parish: 64 cases, 5 deaths
  • St. Landry Parish: 45 cases, 2 deaths
  • Evangeline Parish: 19 cases
  • Vermilion Parish: 15 cases, 1 death
  • Jeff Davis Parish: 9 cases

You will note that these numbers are significantly lower than reported yesterday. According to the LDH: “… there was a decrease in numbers in some of the parishes on Saturday [today]. The reason is because of the duplication of lab reports by commercial labs on Friday [yesterday] that have been addressed, removed, and should not occur again.”

It is my understanding that these numbers today reflect a good news/bad news scenario. The good news is that our number from Thursday has increased only 2%. I have been advised that while we have new cases, many of the prior reported patients have recovered. The bad news is that the numbers are still rising. More disheartening is that we now have 5 reported deaths.

The behavioral measures previously imposed and those recommended remain critical to effectively combatting the spread of COVID-19. As I have stated so many times previously in quoting health experts, nationally, state wide, and locally, no measure is more important than the STAY AT HOME Order which has been imposed by Governor Edwards since March 22, 2020. We should stay at home except for those essential activities first spelled out in Section 3 of 33 JBE 2020 and revised for clarity in Section 2 of 41 JBE 2020:

“To preserve the public health and safety, and to insure the healthcare system is capable of serving all citizens in need, especially those at high risk and vulnerable to COVID-19, all individuals within the State of Louisiana ARE UNDER A GENERAL STAT-AT-HOME ORDER AND ARE DIRECTED TO STAY HOME UNLESS PERFORMING AN ESSENTIAL ACTIVITY. Further, all gatherings of 10 people or more shall be postponed or cancelled. This applies only to gatherings in a single space at the same time where individuals will be in close proximity to one another. An activity is essential in 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 a business which has not been ordered closed.
  • Going to and from the home of a family member.
  • Going to and from an individual’s place of worship.
  • Engaging in an outdoor activity at a place not otherwise ordered closed, providing individuals maintain a distance of six feet from one another and abide by the 10-person limitation on gatherings.


As I have lamented over the last several days, the unregulated/uncontrolled number of shoppers at some of the businesses in our Parish present unreasonable risks regarding the spread of COVID-19. Yesterday, I commented that:

“If the management at these businesses does not affirmatively act, then I may likely impose an executive order under the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, La. R.S. 29:721, et seq, limiting the number of customers and the hours of operation. Lafourche Parish imposed such restrictions as a consequence of similar problems. I attach a replica of their action. Hopefully, the management at these outlets will act voluntarily.”

I am pleased to report that VOLUNTARY steps to regulate shopping have been taken by most of the businesses to which I was referring. This speaks very highly of our community and its business partners. I thank each and every one of them for understanding the situation and acting affirmatively. Of course, most of our local vendors acted before I voiced any concerns.