Gov. Edwards: Louisiana will Move to Phase One Statewide on May 15, COVID-19 Stay at Home Order will be Lifted for Louisianans

Those who are high risk should continue to stay at home, all Louisianans should wear masks when in public, practice good hygiene and social distancing.

Louisiana will move to Phase One under the White House COVID-19 guidance this Friday, May 15, which removes the Stay at Home order for Louisianans and allows additional businesses to open under strict occupancy, protection and social distancing guidelines, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Monday. High risk individuals should continue to stay at home, except for essential activities, like getting food or medical care.

Gov. Edwards outlined the first phase of the Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana, which adopts every major recommendation of the White House plan in Phase One. The Governor also highlighted data that shows that the Stay at Home order improved Louisiana’s overall situation in relation to new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Louisiana meets the statewide threshold criteria from the White House related to declining COVID-like symptoms, new cases and hospitalizations. In addition, testing and contact tracing are ramping up, which further supports the decision to go to Phase One.

Click HERE to see the data presented at the Governor’s May 11 media briefing.

“Because of the Stay at Home order, Louisianans were able to dramatically improve our trajectory, reduce the number of new cases, keep our health care system from being overrun and save lives. It is because of this hard work that I, in consultation with public health experts and business and industry leaders, feel confident that all across the state we can move forward with entering into Phase One. Because we meet the White House statewide threshold criteria, starting on Friday, additional businesses may open with reasonable limitations to ensure safety for their employees and their customers,” Gov. Edwards said. “Louisianans who are at high risk of dying from COVID-19, including the elderly, residents of long-term care facilities and those with poor control of certain illnesses, should continue to stay at home and only leave their homes only for essential reasons, like seeking medical care, going to an essential job or getting food.”

“Right now, the data shows improvement, and we also now have a much more robust testing and contract tracing program underway, which will allow us to better identify cases and isolate those who may have been infected. However, we are not out of the woods and if we see a dramatic spike in cases, we may have to increase restrictions. Our lives will not go back to normal for some time,” Gov. Edwards said. “I know this has been a trying time for our people, our churches and our businesses, and I am truly grateful for the continued adherence to mitigation measures designed to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives. Louisianans are a remarkably strong and resilient people, and by working together, we will continue to protect each other and our state.”

Gov. Edwards will issue an updated proclamation, the Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana: Phase One, on Thursday, May 14 that removes the Stay at Home order for Louisianans, encouraging people who are at a higher risk of becoming ill from COVID-19 to continue to Stay at Home. However, all individuals are still Safer at Home and should limit their exposure to the novel coronavirus when in public by wearing a facial covering like a cloth mask, practicing good hygiene, including frequent handwashing, and maintaining at least six feet of social distance from people who are not in their households.

The Governor’s order will detail categories of businesses that can be open and those which must remain closed. All non-essential Phase One businesses and churches will be limited to 25 percent of their total occupancy, which meets the White House Guidance for Phase One that calls for “strict” social distancing measures. All Phase One businesses and churches must have their employees who deal with the public in face coverings or cloth masks and enforce social distancing.

The 25 percent occupancy rate is based on the advice of public health officials who recommend that people generally have 110 square feet around them. This occupancy capacity includes customers and employees.

The State Fire Marshal and the Louisiana Department of Health will continue issuing guidance to different types of businesses about Phase One in the coming days, in order to ensure that businesses and churches can safely operate to the maximum level allowed in Phase One. Business owners and faith leaders can register at OpenSafely.la.gov to receive this guidance, which will also be placed online.

With the exception of gaming establishments, no church leader or business owner is required to register or to get approval of their opening plans in advance. Registering for the Open Safely site is not required to reopen, but it is encouraged as it will allow businesses and churches to get the latest information quickly.

Phase One guidance will allow essential businesses, as defined by CISA, to remain open. Non-essential businesses (sometimes called “gray area” businesses) and places of worship may remain open at 25 percent of their occupancy. All business owners should read the order to understand which category their business falls into.

New types of businesses that may open beginning on May 15, with 25 percent occupancy limits, sanitation guidelines and spacing for physical distancing include:

Gyms and fitness centers
Barber shops and hair and nail salons
Casinos and Video Poker
Theaters
Racetracks (not open to spectators)
Museums, zoos, aquariums (no tactile exhibits)
Bars and breweries with LDH food permits
The following businesses remain closed: massage establishments and spas, tattoo parlors, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, trampoline parks, arcades, fairs, bars and breweries without LDH food permits, pool halls, contact sports, children’s play centers, playgrounds, theme parks, adult entertainment venues, and other similar businesses.

All business owners should review the updated order, which will be formally issued on Thursday, to understand if their business can be open as of May 15.

State buildings will begin to be open to the public on May 15 at 25 percent occupancy and state agencies are directed to continue to bring more state employees back to work in person, with proper distancing and protections in place. In line with the White House Phase One guidance, all employers that care are encouraged to continue to allow their employees to work remotely where possible, and to plan to space out their employees, close communal spaces, require face coverings like masks and increase sanitation protocols when employees do return to the office.


23 thoughts on “Gov. Edwards: Louisiana will Move to Phase One Statewide on May 15, COVID-19 Stay at Home Order will be Lifted for Louisianans

  1. If you are afraid stay home. Don’t try to force your fears on others. This virus hasn’t infected children so don’t include them in your reasoning. Yes elderly with other medical issues should be extremely aware. For younger people it is no worse than the flu.

    • Wrong there have been healthy children who have died from it. Just not as many as older adults. But if you want to carry yours out in it go for it!

  2. This virus thing has been over reacted on! What about the flu!? Do we shut down America and the rest of this craziness for that? You should be washing your hands and taking extra precaution anyways if you have health issues for the flu .. this is polical and yes the virus is real but the response to it is crazy and wrong ! Wake up people!

    • You have over 80000 ppl.dead and the numbers still growing,the virus is still spreading and there’s still no cure. IT’S not the flu! Ignorance is why it’s going to continue to spread and continue to kill. Seems like 80000 deaths would would wake ppl.up!

      • No this virus isn’t the flu or a hoax ..it is real but government has over reacted.. those numbers of deaths ect are wrong ..their putting on deaths certificates ect that people died from the virus that didn’t also.. there’s lots of people die every year of cigarettes n alcohol as well but their legal n also called essential while businesses like hair salons , every small businesse n churches ect are not essential .. we can chose what n where we want to go ..we have common sense n if people want to live in fear , they can chose that.. . Government over reacted n alot of them are using this for control n political reasons ..its unconstitutional what their doing … there’s not cures for alot of things as well.. one death is bad n a thousand is too but God didn’t put a spirit of fear in us n we’re all going to die at some point, it’s life .. when it’s your time it’s your time no matter what..

    • The flu last year was also very serious, especially for children. Public Health Officials were useless. My 8 year old granddaughter was critically ill with the flu. Schools should have been shut down during the 2-3 week peak and strict precautions were needed. People should have always been instructed to stay home if you are sick and to use common sense precautions to try to contain the spread of those illnesses. People who have chronic health conditions have been at risk for death with a virus since the beginning of time..

  3. None of it is Constitutional and the 25 percent figure is a pull it out of you arse figure along with most of his numbers and policies. The only way this would be fair is to shut everyone down. Easy to say you should stay at home when you are getting paid and don’t have a stack of bills you can’t pay, Ignorant government types live in an alternate universe.We may all be in the same storm but we are not in the same boat and if you are scared then you keep your rear at home.

  4. It is crazy to me that the loudest groups of people in the country are the ones that think the virus is a hoax, and then the ones that want the country to be in lock down until 2022. Are there not any normal minded people like me that think there is probably a middle ground here? People are so angry about folks not wearing masks, yet there is video (I understand it is old) where Fauci is actually (go watch it again) making fun and patronizing people for wearing masks. You have to understand that this is very confusing to anyone who likes to think logically. We aren’t talking new breakthroughs in science here. Either cotton masks work or they don’t. There are just too many conflicting reports for anyone who likes to make decisions for themselves to come to a concrete conclusion.

    And make no mistake, the media is twisting every bit of information to steer it’s own personal agendas. People just can’t understand that.

    • I’m not saying Fauci didn’t say or do that, but all I found was that, early on, he worried that if everyone started wearing masks, medical personnel might not have enough of them. The CDC, however, does insist that masks, even cotton masks, help. The way I figure, if there is anything sensible (no injecting bleach) that might lessen the death toll, we should do it. When someone commented that masks are uncomfortable, my friend retorted that pants are, too, but we wear them anyway. All I know is that the countries that had a rigorous early testing (from February on) program and mandated stay at home (not making it optional) have completely flattened the curve. But too many Americans are so aware of their rights and completely unaware of their responsibilities. A friend of mine said, “Imagine if during the Blitz, a group of Londoners said, “I’ll turn my lights on if I want to.” If wearing masks saves a few lives, let’s do it.

      • I don’t trust Fauci. He may be a great doctor but in my opinion he is two faced and has been setting President up for a downfall.

        I pray I’m wrong.

        • I agree with you Virgina.. the masks are conflicting also..sime if these “so called specialist ” say they help n others say they do not..their even bringing one of the other to court over that… if you want to wear one wear it but if you don’t you shouldn’t have to…

  5. I like that idea.. no mask, no service. Business establishments can do it for sanitary reasons. The same applies, or should apply, here.

  6. I so wish people here could understand how deadly this virus is. I was at Super One yesterday. All of the store employees wore masks. Probably 1/4 of the customers did. I was just livid. How dare those arrogant fools endanger the lives of everyone around them? All the predictions indicate that June will be the most deadly month yet. Some of us are obviously not going to go out for any unnecessary items or to eat out, but trips to the supermarket are necessary from time to time. Why can’t a “No mask, no service” order be instated?

    • I tend to become angry too for no mask and a mask under the nose. I wish people would take this more seriously but so many are just plain indifferent to the well being of others. I overheard a conversation between 2 men and one said that we all have to die sometimes, and It is already written the date and hour of our death. True, but we should love our neighbor enough to care whether others are suffering or die. On the other hand, we must try to understand what others who are out of work are going through. Loss of economic security is a terrible burden. If we unite in love of our neighbor, we can move mountains. Try to go back to work following these guidelines. If we continue to be divided, we will surely bear the consequences.

    • Agree with you! Arrogant and ignorant people (meaning those who don’t know but could learn)
      Are putting our elders and children at risk as well as themselves. Unless the stores take a stance on demanding the wearing of masks to their customers as they do on not entering barefoot and shirtless, I really don’t know the answer.

    • I totally agree with the “No Mask, No Service” comment. I think all local businesses should implement this rule since people here can’t follow guidelines. Some think this takes away their rights, but the law also mandates that you must wear clothes in the store, and use seat belts, etc. Laws to protect the public are nothing new.

    • Thank goodness for an honest, intelligent, caring, sympathetic human in charge of our state. It really doesn’t take a scientist or a virologist or a mental giant to know that to help curb a virus, stay home. Even if you show no symptoms, you can spread it to anyone. People that actually care about others will follow orders of intelligent, knowledgeable leaders. Show some caring and concern for someone other than yourself. Stay home. Wear a mask when you must go out. Safe distance. Wash your hands often. This will be our life for quite a while to come. Protect the kids. Protect the elderly. Protect those with preexisting conditions. A true Christian response should be what can I do to help others. We stay home until our food supply is low, every 2 wks. I shop. Hubby hasnt been in a store in over 2 mo. He has COPD. So, help me help him. Follow the instructions of those with real knowledge of pandemics. Stay well.

      • A true Christian should not worry..use common sense is all we need to do ..if it’s your time to die it’s your time no matter how… God Did not put a sprit of fear in his people ! No dnt go to someone’s house thts got the virus or flu ect n hang out ect..common sense , wash your hands ect.. not shut the world down! If you dnt want to get out because of fear stay home …

    • JBE will be term-limited next go around, in 2023. But after sitting out 4 years, he could run again.

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