The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office are reaffirming to the state’s business community that both agencies will continue conducting compliance enforcement of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Phase 3 COVID-19 order that remains in place.
Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on Nov. 12 after a ruling by Judge William Morvant in the 19th Judicial District court that a petition filed by some Republican members of the Louisiana House of Representatives to overturn his sensible COVID mitigation strategies, which are supported by science and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, was moot and that the law used to submit it was unconstitutional.
Gov. Edwards said:
“Today is a victory for public health in the state of Louisiana and for all of those people, from our health care heroes, including our doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to our scientists and researchers, who are fighting every day to slow the spread of COVID and save lives here. The petition signed by some members of one chamber of Louisiana’s Legislature could not terminate the emergency order because the petition was based on a law the violated the Louisiana Constitution. Judge Morvant ruled that the House of Representatives cannot act by itself on behalf of the full Legislature. I have long said the law some members of the House were attempting to use is unconstitutional and I am pleased the judge agreed.
“What today’s hearing means for the people and businesses of Louisiana is that our state remains in Phase 3, including with a statewide mask mandate in effect, based on my most recent proclamation. This represents our best chance at slowing the spread of COVID in Louisiana and has and will save lives. I will continue to work with public health experts, scientists and doctors on strategies and mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana.
“Right now, we are seeing frightening surges in COVID cases, test positivity, hospitalizations and deaths around the country, including in our neighboring states. Louisianans must not let down their guard, and must continue practicing social distance, wearing masks, washing their hands and limiting their contact when outside of their households. We will get through this together, and I am deeply thankful for the hard work of all Louisianans, who have already bent the curve twice this year.”