BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana health officials are preparing for a rise in cases after the Independence Day weekend.
Officials worry crowded beaches and other resorts paired with people not social distancing or wearing masks will lead to residents bringing the virus back home and spreading it to others.
“You know, you make many stops over there, you’re with people from out of town, so I’d encourage you to stay in Louisiana, take a ‘staycation', and go see a part of Louisiana you haven’t seen,” said Lieutenant Governor Billie Nungesser.
Instead of going to the beach, Nungesser says he wants people to explore Louisiana and visit areas of the state they have never seen before, namely one of the state parks, areas where it’s easy to practice proper social distancing.
“We’ve been asking people to take a Louisiana road trip and go out and see a part of Louisiana you haven’t seen,” he said. “Louisianans can really help many of these businesses make it through these tough times if we get out and support them.”
Dr. Joseph Kanter, assistant state health officer for the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), says if you do decide to go to the beach or to another vacation destination, you still need to keep COVID-19 concerns top of mind.
“If you do go out, I want folks to frequent places that have safer environments and if you see people crowded into a store or a restaurant and you see a whole lot of people not wearing masks, that’s not a safe place for you to be in and you shouldn’t be there,” Dr. Kanter said.
Dr. Kanter says it’s up to residents to protect themselves, but they should be mindful of elderly family members when they come back.
He also says residents need to be mindful because if they bring the virus back with them and spread it, it could result in the state shutting down again.
“This is a real tenuous time for Louisiana,” he said. “We do not want what’s happening in Houston and Arizona happening here. We lived through that once a couple months ago. We do not want to live through it again,” he said.
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