BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards says he has decided not to allow Louisiana to enter into the less-restrictive Phase 3 of reopening the economy.
He issued an official proclamation Thursday, June 25. Read it here.
The new order leaves in place occupancy and other restrictions of the previous Phase 2 order and adds a crowd size limit of 250 to indoor gatherings.
“We have watched with concern as cases continue to rise in Louisiana, which is why we are pausing the state in Phase 2 for now. Data from the last three days makes it crystal clear that Louisiana is not ready to move to Phase 3 just yet,” Gov. Edwards said Thursday. “Our plan is to watch the daily trends and then to do another deep dive into the data in 14 days to determine if things are improving or getting worse, so we can make a plan for our future. None of us wants to go back to a time of greater restrictions, which is why it is incredibly important that all Louisianans take the necessary mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state, including wearing cloth masks or face coverings when they are in public, staying home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms, keeping six feet of social distance, and washing their hands frequently.”
The governor’s decision comes after a concerning uptick in coronavirus cases in certain parts of the state. The current Phase 2 restrictions were set to expire Friday, June 26, however, Edwards announced the state will remain in Phase Two for another 28 days. The governor made the announcement during a news conference Monday, June 22.
As of Monday, LDH says people between the ages of 18 and 29 have more positive COVID-19 tests than any other age group.
“Some in Louisiana may be done with COVID, but I promise you that COVID is not yet done with Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said. “I especially want to call on the young people of our state, those ages 18 to 29, to take this illness seriously. This is the age group with the largest numbers of new cases and while you may think you are invincible; you are not. Moreover, you should make sure you don’t spread the illness to others, especially those most vulnerable to it.”
Louisiana ranks seventh out of 23 states across the country experiencing an increase in COVID-19 positive cases, as of Monday. Those include the neighboring states of Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
“Louisiana reached two sad milestones today as we surpassed 3,000 deaths and 50,000 positive tests in our state. Each of these Louisianans is someone’s child, sibling, parent or friend, and we mourn every one of these losses,” Gov. Edwards said. “It is clear that COVID is alive and well in Louisiana, and as we see more people testing positive and admitted to hospitals, we simply are not ready to move to the next phase, and ease restrictions further as businesses open widely. Many of you are doing the right thing and I thank you for it. It’s incredibly disappointing to hear that there are still some people who refuse to wear masks in public, which puts all of us at greater risk of becoming sick. I implore Louisianans to be good neighbors, to stay at home when they are experiencing symptoms, to avoid crowds, physically distance, and to wear a mask when not around their immediate household whether inside or outside. These are simple things we can do to protect ourselves and each other.”
“While we know that increasing testing means that we will see more positive cases, we are still troubled by the rising case counts across the state, especially since around 90 percent of these new cases are coming from the community and not from congregate settings like nursing homes,” Gov. Edwards said. “It is up to all of us to check our own behaviors and to take responsibility for slowing the spread of COVID. We do not want to have to go back to a time of increased restrictions where fewer businesses could operate. It is my hope that all of us – from government officials to business owners to students – will do the right thing.”
Louisianans should wear face masks whenever they are in public, practice social distancing, wash their hands frequently and avoid going out in public when they are experiencing any symptoms.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- Business and faith leaders can visit OpenSafely.la.gov to receive guidance and updates from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Health. Businesses that require approval of reopening plans will be notified by the State Fire Marshal’s Office or the Louisiana Department of Health.
- For a guide listing businesses that can be open at any given time, visit gov.louisiana.gov/page/can-this-business-open.
- Members of the public can continue to get information from the Governor’s Office by visiting Coronavirus.la.gov and by texting LACOVID to 67283.
- Members of the public can continue to get information from the Department of Health by visiting ldh.la.gov/coronavirus.
- People with general questions about COVID-19 in Louisiana can call 211.
Click here to report a typo.