BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced the following during his coronavirus news conference Tuesday, Feb. 9:
- More people have now been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Louisiana (received at least one dose) than have contracted the virus
- Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge will administer 7,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each week, once enough supply of the vaccine is available
- Louisiana will remain in modified Phase 2 for 21 more days, until March 2
Gov. Edwards announced his decision Tuesday afternoon at a vaccine event in Louisiana and signed the extension of the modified Phase 2 order on Wednesday.
Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions include the below:
- All Louisianans are encouraged to avoid gatherings of individuals not part of their households.
- All businesses, private and public sectors, should have as many employees work from home as 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 may open 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, whichever is less.
- 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.
Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate is still in place. For complete guidance on the new Phase 2, visit the Open Safely portal at opensafely.la.gov.
“While we still have a long way to go to put this pandemic behind us its only going to happen once enough of us get the vaccine”, said Governor Edwards.
Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center partnered together to create a large-scale community vaccination site. Among the first in line, Governor John Bel Edwards who now qualifies for the vaccine after expanding access to include officials handling the COVID-19 response.
“That’s why I’m here today to get vaccinated, that’s why the secretary of state Kyle Adrion is here to get vaccinated”, said Governor Edwards.
The difference between this community site and the mass vaccination sites in places like Houston and Los Angeles is that unlike those, we don’t yet know how many doses Pennington will be receiving on a weekly basis. You also can’t just hop in a drive-thru line and expect to get your shot, you’ll need to schedule an appointment and meet the eligibility requirements which now include anyone age 65 and up.
“So, this is progress but as I mentioned we still have a long way to go”, said Governor Edwards.
Shortly after the elected officials got their shot the doors opened for other patients who scheduled appointments for today. Many say they had been on waiting lists for weeks.
“Well, it was great it was such a relief getting it because now once I get the other one and wait the period of time you have to wait, it frees me to do so many things I’ve been unable to do because of my illness”, said Baton Rouge resident Walda Gibbs.
She says she’s felt mosquito bites more painful than the shot she received.
“I felt nothing, absolutely nothing”, Gibbs boasted.
And although she was more than thrilled her day to get vaccinated had finally come, she couldn’t help but feel like it came a little too late.
“It came a little late because my sister was in a nursing home...and she died and...I wasn’t able to visit her before that”, said Gibbs.
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