Baton Rouge bars struggle due to Gov. Edwards’ new restrictions

Baton Rouge bars struggle under new restrictions from Gov. Edwards

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Bars across the state are closed again due to the Governor’s statewide executive order now in effect.

As the rest of the state masks up, bars are closing their doors. “As Coach O explained to me, he was able to keep his football players safe, healthy and well, here and tested until some might’ve wondered off to a bar,” says Dr. Deborah Birx at the recent LSU press conference along with Vice President Mike Pence addressing the coronavirus outbreak. As of now local bars are struggling in terms of revenue hoping they will still be able to open their doors in the future.

“We’re spending money you can say that we don’t have right now to make sure we are set above that industry standard. I would just like to see a better system in place to not target bars specifically, but to target the people that are offenders during this time,” says Jordan Neldare who is a managing partner at Uncle Earl’s Bar off Perkins Road.

Uncle Earl’s is just one of the local bars in Baton Rouge that is being forced to close. Prior to the bar closures, Neldare says they were taking every precaution needed to remain open and to stay safe. However, the latest mandate allowed other businesses to stay open while bars were not.

“Obviously, restaurants are still open, casinos are still open so we just find it, you know, our of the order they would do such a thing as shutting down local small businesses specifically bars,” says Neldare.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the decision was based on contact tracing, finding younger adults between 18 and 29 were contracting the virus after hanging out at bars.

“Coronavirus is infecting and killing so many people in Louisiana right now that I think some sectors where coronavirus spreads easily need to shut down in order to save human lives,” says Dr. Frank Welch who is the Medical Director for the Bureau of Community Preparedness (LDH).

Dr. Welch further explained that is hard to remain safe in a bar because are not normally wearing masks and people are usually in confined spaces making it harder to social distance.

As of now the executive order is meant to last until July 24th, but it could be extended.

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