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Danielle Haydel, molecular biologist, holds a sample collection kit consisting of a smaller nasal swab, larger oral swab and viral trasport medium. Louisiana's state lab in Baton Rouge is operating nearly 24 hours to keep up with the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Grand Isle will have an evening curfew and new rules outlining who will be allowed on the island to curb the spread of the coronavirus contagion, island officials said Thursday.

The popular coastal Louisiana getaway and fishing spot joined a growing list of southeast Louisiana governments implementing measures to tamp down the spread of the virus, including St. John the Baptist, St. James and Washington parishes, which announced curfews on Wednesday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, meanwhile, made official Thursday what he had announced earlier this week: The statewide stay-at-home order will be extended to April 30. The state has ordered that schools and numerous businesses remain closed. The extension came on a day in which the number of positive cases reported in Louisiana rose to 9,150.

Grand Isle's new restrictions will require those entering the community at the southernmost point of Jefferson Parish to show proof they own a home or a camp there or that they are needed for their job, town officials said in a news release.

A checkpoint will be set up at the Jefferson Parish line leading into the barrier island community, the release says.

To gain access to the island, drivers will need to show a government-issued identification with a Grand Isle address or a utility bill or similar proof if they own a camp.

Camp owners who come in from out of town must self-quarantine, the release says, though it's not clear how long. 

Grand Isle's daily curfew will be from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Violators could be subject to arrest and fines of up to $500.

Last week, Grand Isle closed its beaches to prevent coronavirus from spreading on the island. The state park on the island was also shuttered.

St. James and Washington parishes are enforcing 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfews; St. John Parish's curfew is 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

In a video news conference midday Tuesday, before the curfew was ordered, St. James Parish President Pete Dufresne and Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. urged residents to follow Edwards' stay-at-home order.

Martin said then that he didn't want to have a curfew imposed if it wasn't necessary but his deputies had begun dealing with people who were congregating in the neighborhoods and children who were riding around together in golf carts and four-wheelers. 

He said deputies had problems over the past weekend "with crawfish boils, crab boils, barbecues, card games and things like that" and were empowered to go on private property to break up the gatherings.

"Our numbers are still going up, so we do need to all pitch in and do our part," Martin said Tuesday.

St. James Parish government cited the private gatherings and street activity when the curfew order was issued Wednesday and also applies to Gramercy and Lutcher.


Email David J. Mitchell at dmitchell@theadvocate.com

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.