Gov. Edwards: Louisiana Steps Back to Phase 2 as COVID Cases and Hospitalizations Rise

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced on Nov. 24 that the aggressive third surge of COVID-19 across all regions of Louisiana has made it necessary to impose tighter mitigation measures and step back to Phase 2 in order to protect public health.

The Governor’s updated Phase 2 proclamation, which is slightly modified from the summer, takes effect on Wednesday, November 25. It calls for reducing occupancy at some businesses, decreasing gathering sizes, limiting indoor consumption at many bars and urges everyone in Louisiana to avoid gatherings with people outside of their everyday households.

Cases are increasing, hospitalizations have climbed back up to more than 1,000, the highest level since August, and to date, the virus has claimed the lives of more than 6,300 Louisianans. According to the latest report by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Louisiana had 474 new cases per 100,000 people last week, which is higher than the national average for states, which is 356 per 100,000 people.

Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since mid-July, will continue. In addition, Gov. Edwards encourages any business that can allow its employees to work remotely to do so. He has directed all state agencies to do the same.

“There is not a single region of our state that is not seeing increases in new cases, hospitalizations and growing positivity of COVID tests, and I am incredibly concerned by Louisiana’s trajectory and our ability to continue to deliver health care to our people if our hospitals are overrun with sick patients,” Gov. Edwards said. “The data clearly tells us that we have lost all of the gains we had made and that our current mitigation efforts must be increased in order to adequately slow the spread. Now is the time to make changes, and stepping back to guidelines that closely resemble our Phase 2 restrictions is a tough but necessary step to take in order to protect the public.

“It is absolutely vital that Louisianans take this third surge of COVID seriously. While there is hopeful news about the development of an effective vaccine, the reality is that we are several months away from being able to widely vaccinate the general population in our state. This virus is with us and we must continue all of the mitigation measures including wearing a mask and social distancing in order to stay safe. All of us working together can slow the spread of COVID and flatten the curve – indeed, we already have twice. We now have more than 1,000 patients in the hospital with COVID, wiping out months of progress and leaving our hospitals in a perilous place.”

MAJOR CHANGES

Gov. Edwards’ updated order will go into effect on Wednesday, November 25 and will run for four weeks. The Governor intends to keep these restrictions in place at least through the end of the year.

Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate remains in place. Major changes to Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions include the below:

All Louisianans are encouraged to avoid gatherings of individuals not part of their households.

All businesses, private and public sectors, are encouraged to use remote work where they can.

All restaurants are limited to 50% of their indoor capacity. Restaurants should move as much dining outdoors as they can. Social distancing is required.

For bars in parishes above 5% positivity, bars are closed to indoor sales and consumption but open for outdoor consumption at tables only and at 25% capacity, with a maximum of 50 people. Social distancing is required. Take-out and delivery will still be available.

Retail businesses at 50% capacity, except for essential businesses, as defined by federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Gyms may be open at 50% of their capacity.

Places of worship will remain at a maximum of 75% of their capacity or the number of people who can physically distance with at least six feet between each immediate household. The State Fire Marshal will put out additional COVID mitigation measures to make services safer.

Barber and beauty shops, and nail salons may open at 50% of their capacity.
Movie theaters may open at 50% of their capacity.

Indoor gatherings at event/receptions centers are limited to 25% capacity or up to 75 individuals.

Outdoor gatherings at event/reception centers are limited to 25% capacity or up to 150 individuals when strict physical distancing is not possible.

All sporting events will be capped at 25% capacity.

Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate is still in place.


8 thoughts on “Gov. Edwards: Louisiana Steps Back to Phase 2 as COVID Cases and Hospitalizations Rise

  1. What about the Fleur de Lis show. If the maximum is 150 people, most will be vendors, unless vendors aren’t there. What a shame that the economy is going bust, people are losing their lives, businesses, homes, jobs and will finally lose their unemployment because of a country that hates us. On top of that they manufacture a lot of our medications. Folks, I think it’s time we tell Old Joe that we do not want to do business with that country, at all, ever. Then he needs to tell son, Hunter to stay away from them and not to take any more money from them. People might start getting the wrong idea about the family. It’s just not good politics.

  2. If everyone wants the covid to stop then ppl need to pull together and everyone stay at home and spend time with your family just for about 3 to 4 days and it would get awhole lot better but no most of everyone has to be on the go all the time don’t even have time to stop and say hi or bye always running

  3. It isnt hard. Stay home. Skip large gatherings. Wear a mask when you do need to go out. Safe distance. It’d be nice to not hear of thousands testing positive and so many dying. It’ll be a wonderful day when we can say for sure that covid is being slowed and people across the world arent getting sick and dying. Wear a mask. Say a prayer for those missing their loved ones. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. And we are in the midst of our Christmas Festival.

    Any news yet from the Mayor on what the intentions are? We have quite a lot of visitors intending on coming. With many guests concerned that they should even travel.

    • Mayor Winston, opps I mean Williams is in over his head. If he shuts down the city it will be all over. The small businesses downtown pay their rent from the festival season income alone. It will be a ghost town. Any business person or elected official with a few years local experience can tell you that. But we don’t have that now, do we?

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