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Lincoln Parish coronavirus timeline

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
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Following is a timeline of how the worldwide coronavirus outbreak has impacted Lincoln Parish:

March 6 — Lincoln Parish Schools Superintendent Mike Milstead cancels all nonessential out-ofstate field trips for March and April.

March 9 — First case of presumptive coronavirus reported in Louisiana.

March 10 — Lincoln Parish Health Task Force announces it is meeting regularly to talk about the coronavirus and make sure the parish is ready.

March 11 — World Health Organization declares coronavirus a pandemic as it continues to spread around the globe. The same day, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a statewide public health emergency.

March 12 — 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana

March 13 — 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana; the state’s presidential primary is postponed from April 4 to June 20. Gov. John Bel Edwards orders all public schools closed for a month. Public gatherings of more than 250 people are prohibited. President Trump declares a national emergency as virus cases rise across the country.

March 13 — Louisiana Tech and Grambling State universities announce they’re transitioning to online classes. GSU urges its students to go home. Also on this day the Southwest Athletic Conference canceled all athletics through the end of the academic school year. GSU is a member of the SWAC.

March 14 — Lincoln Preparatory School and Simsboro High School play championship basketball games with no fans in attendance because of the order limiting gatherings. By that same day, coronavirus cases were up to 36 statewide and the first virus-related death was reported.

March 15 — Churches throughout Lincoln Parish postponed corporate worship indefinitely.

March 16 — Some parish churches begin offering video sermons via social media. Small groups of worshipers gather in modern house churches. Coronavirus cases are up to 77 statewide.

March 16 — Lincoln Parish Police Jury President Joe Henderson proclaims a state of emergency in the parish.

March 16 — Louisiana closes bars and limits restaurants to takeout, drive-through or delivery for at least one month. Local hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities limit public access.

March 16 — The Lincoln-Union Parish 3rd Judicial District Court resets some proceedings to several weeks later in response to an order from the Louisiana Supreme Court to district courts statewide.

March 16 — Lincoln Parish school system begins handing out bagged breakfasts and lunches to students now not in school. This is also the first day of online classes at Louisiana Tech and GSU. Also on this day, Conference USA cancels all athletics through the end of the academic school year. Louisiana Tech is a member of Conference USA.

March 17 — Lincoln Parish School Board declares a public emergency.

March 17 — By now, the city of Ruston has cancelled all events scheduled for the Civic Center and for the municipal sports complex. Officials are beginning to consider contingen cies for employees to work at home.

March 18 –—Lincoln Parish Library closes because of the virus.

March 20 — Both Ruston police and Lincoln Parish Sheriff ’s Office confirm they’ve cut back on proactive policing and are primarily responding to emergency calls and traffic accidents. The Lincoln Parish Detention Center also freed up beds in case it has to house arrestees symptomatic for the virus. The Ruston Fire Department announces new protocols for patients requesting ambulance transport.

March 20 — Louisiana Tech tells its students to go home but continue to attend online classes.

March 22 — Gov. Edwards announces a stay-at-home order, effective at 5 p.m. March 23, until April 13 for all non-essential businesses and employees.

March 22 –—Lincoln Parish reports its first two cases of coronavirus.

March 23 — Lincoln Parish school system suspends meal services after this day in light of equipment shortages. The Lincoln Parish Police Jury cancels its meeting scheduled for March 24 and closes the courthouse, annexes and Homer Street complex to the public.

March 23 — The Lincoln Parish Sheriff ’s Office begins delivering groceries to older residents and students at the Louisiana Center for the Blind who use local online ordering services.