Could more activity during Labor Day weekend play into Gov. Edwards’ decision on Phase 3?

Large parties, no masks on Labor Day

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) -Despite pleas from Governor John Bel Edwards and even the White House Coronavirus Task Force to keep Labor Day safe, videos from around the state show some big crowds with few people keeping their distance or wearing masks.

While some are ready for a bit of normalcy, others are worried this could send us back into a spike of COVID cases.

A lot of folks on WAFB’s Facebook post, say they are simply tired of the state being locked up as the casinos are still open and protests are still happening across the country.

But some are fearful. Those folks that don’t know they have the coronavirus could possibly spread it to others.

There was a party on the Tickfaw River this weekend and the sounds of a second line in the streets of New Orleans. Videos show a big house party just blocks away from LSU and another live concert in St. Amant.

It seems like everyone was ready to get out of the house and party like it’s 2019.

But on Tuesday, Sept. 8, Edwards is expected to make a decision on whether or not Louisiana heads into phase 3 of reopening. It may depend heavily on what happened this holiday weekend.

“And right now I’m encouraged because the data shows us that the positivity continues to decline, that hospitalizations are declining and so forth,” said Edwards.

Edwards says because of Laura there’s a lot more movement across the state, which he worries will also spread the virus. But how much the state is testing those with symptoms is a good sign so far.

“In the next few days we will go beyond 2 million test in the state of Louisiana,” said Edwards.

The White House’s Phase 3 guidelines include things like:

  • Possible visits to senior care facilities and hospitals.
  • Large venues can operate under limited physical distancing protocols.
  • Gyms can remain open, as long as they are sanitizing equipment.
  • And bars may be able to open up with increased standing room occupancy.

But the governor could choose to keep some restrictions in place.

“Much progress has been made in Louisiana, and it can continue but it’s on each and every one of us,” said Dr. Birx, with the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

The governor will also be looking at COVID-19 numbers at universities across the state.

LSU reported 102 new COVID-19 positive tests from Sept. 4 through Sept. 6. Southern University has reported a total of 64 cases.

But as for Labor Day weekend, we may not know about how much it impacts the numbers until a few weeks from now.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is the organization that checks to see if businesses are in compliance with the governor’s executive orders.

Edwards’ much-anticipated news conference will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8. WAFB will carry the governor’s comments live on air and online.

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