BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards has extended the state’s coronavirus restrictions for another 21 days.
The announcement was made Tuesday, Dec. 22 during a press conference. Edwards noted that the state is seeing “some” improvement, but there is still “a lot of work to do.”
On Monday, the state reported the largest single-day COVID death toll since July.
“Even though it appears we’re starting to plateau, we’re plateauing on a very high level,” Gov. Edwards noted. “That is concerning.”
The statewide mask madidate remains in effect and the modified Phase 2 restrictions include:
- 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.
The vaccination effort is moving full speed ahead. As of Tuesday, the state has administered more than 22,000 doses of the vaccine. Currently the state has 39,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The governor is still deciding who’s next on the list to get a shot, after the first priority group of health care heroes and nursing home residents and staff.
“Every dose of vaccine that we get in Louisiana, we will be ready to use it. The only x factor is how much and what speed of cadence we get from the Feds,” said Canter.
“We have to do everything we can now to try and minimize the spread now and flatten the curve again until we can get people vaccinate in large numbers,” Gov. Edwards said.
The goal is to get roughly 70% of the state’s population vaccinated.
Governor Edwards says his mask mandate is also not going anywhere.
“For some period of time, we’re going to have to leave the masks on. Even after significant percentages of people around our state and our country have been vaccinated, but we’re still a long way from that,” he said.
The governor wants you and your family to stay safe this holiday season.
“We’re too close to the finish line to make unnecessary mistakes now, mistakes that are permanent. and cannot be undone,” said Edwards.
Meanwhile a petition from the State House of Representatives to force the governor to change his restrictions, will be argued again in court.
After the State Supreme Court, send a lawsuit over the petition back to District Court.