Following singer Laine Hardy's announcement that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy and Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard aren't taking any special precautions even though they attended the same event as Hardy on Friday.

All three were on the stage at Revival Temple in Walker for swearing-in ceremonies for Ard, who took the oath of office for a third term. Livingston native and former "American Idol" winner Hardy sang the national anthem at the smaller-than-usual gathering.

"The sheriff has no concerns at this time," Lori Steele, public information officer for the Sheriff's Office said Monday. "It was a private event (due to coronavirus guidelines). There was no meet-and-greet or mixture with the deputies or any of the guests."

Steele said she and her colleagues didn't know at the time that Hardy had been tested, but found out with everyone else when he posted the news online on Sunday.

"But we had taken precautions going in. We had people sitting as far apart as we could, we had the masks, we had the sanitizer, we tested them coming in," Steele said. "… But he (Hardy) came in right before he sang, he left right after he was done, so he really didn't have an interaction or any shaking of hands or anything like that for our little get-together."

She added that the microphone Hardy used was pre-positioned before the event, and no one touched it after that.

Steele said Hardy's voice did not seem adversely affected by his illness.

"He did a great job, like you'd expect. He did it a cappella," Steele said.

To see Hardy's performance, click here.

On Hardy's Facebook page and Instagram story on Sunday, the 19-year-old aspiring country music star said he received his diagnosis on Saturday, the first official day of summer, and that his symptoms were mild.

"I'm home (in Livingston) recovering in quarantine," Hardy also said in the post.

Meanwhile, Cassidy was never within 6 feet of Hardy; therefore, he was not exposed, said Cole Avery, the senator's press secretary.

"Senator Cassidy practiced social distancing at the event and wore a mask, except for one brief moment to take a photo after Laine left the venue," Avery said in a prepared statement.

"Since Senator Cassidy followed social-distancing guidelines, there is no need for him to quarantine. Sen. Cassidy wishes Laine a speedy recovery,” he also said in the statement.

Hardy won "American Idol" in May 2019, and since then has been touring, writing songs in Nashville, and making it back home often.

He's also been busy during the pandemic, with a virtual tour in support of his two new songs and accompanying videos, "Ground I Grew Up On" and "Let There Be Country." The online performances amassed more than 2 million views, and the tour is set to relaunch with a show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets, priced at $15, for that show and one on July 9 are on sale now at https://lainehardy.bubbleup.live/. More tour dates will be announced soon.

In addition, Hardy also joined old friends Parish County Line for a couple of songs during the band's Texas Club show on June 13.

Acoustic versions of his two new songs will debut Friday. 


Email Judy Bergeron at jbergeron@theadvocate.com.