The state has the third highest number of cases per capita in the country – behind the state of New York and Washington, Edwards said.
Within a week, Louisiana has gone from reporting fewer than 100 cases to more than 800 from Sunday night.
"It's a ten-fold increase in seven days," Edwards said.
Twenty people have died in Louisiana after being infected with coronavirus.
The governor said the state could run out of healthcare capacity within seven to 10 days should spread further as it has done.
"There is no reason to believe that we will not be the next Italy," he warned. "We have the fastest growth rate of confirmed cases in the world for the first 13 days here in Louisiana."
"For the past two weeks, the growth rate has been faster than any state or country in the world," Edwards said. "This is why it matters."
"If we want to level the curve, we need to take more aggressive mitigation measures now and limit social contact now," he said. "We must take action now."
Deaths associated with clustering in the retirement community
There were 837 cases of coronavirus over 36 Louisiana parsonages as of Monday morning.
Christina Fay, a board member for Lambeth House, said in a statement to CNN last week that staff and community were devastated and provided for the families of those who died at the facility.
"Lambeth House is really a community of people who care deeply about each other. Every single death estate of a citizen feels very acute by one and all," Fay said. "The intensity of the sadness that accompanies our society is almost indescribable."
Restrictions are now being placed on visitors to such communities as part of an order that Edwards sent out on Sunday that residents should stay home.
Residents ordered to be home
As part of the booking, important businesses, including personal care and entertainment venues, must not be close by. 17:00. Monday night.
Edwards said government buildings will remain open for essential work, but will be closed to the public.
Pharmacies, grocery stores and medical offices will remain open, Edwards said. Restaurants will also remain open for throughput, delivery and take out options.
Especially the police team for breaking collections
Prior to Edward's order, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a home order for his city Friday, closing businesses and prohibiting collectors of more than 10 people.
"If you have no significant function or cannot safely maintain social distance, you must be home," Cantrell said at a news conference Friday. "Don't look for ways that the rules won't apply to you … stay home."
A special police team is set up to help enforce the order. The team will respond to 311 calls reporting large rallies, and any businesses that do not follow could lose the license to operate in the city permanently, according to a tweet from the New Orleans Police Department.
Another tweet from the NOPD said the department would take multiple incident reports on the phone when appropriate to improve social distance between officers and residents. If a resident prefers a personal response, an officer will be emailed, the tweet said.
CNN's Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.