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State back to ‘modified Phase 2’

Surge in COVID cases, hospitalizations causes governor to tighten restrictions

Gov. John Bel Edwards is tightening Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions as cases and hospitalizations rise across the state.
Edwards announce Louisiana will returned to a “modified Phase 2” starting on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The new proclamation will be in effect for four weeks, until Dec. 23.
For all the following guidelines, mask wearing and social distancing are required.
Here are the changes coming to Louisiana for the next four weeks:
• Restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops operating at 75 percent capacity will be reduced to 50 percent capacity.
• Casinos and video poker establishments may continue to operate at 50 percent capacity, however gaming positions will be reduced from 75 percent to 50 percent, under the guidance established by the Gaming Control Board.
• Bars in parishes with a percent positivity rate of 5 percent or below that have opted in may continue to operate in the manner they have been with patrons being required to sit at tables, physically distanced from one another at no more than 25 percent capacity or 50 patrons, whichever is less.
Bars that are in parishes that exceed 5 percent positivity for two consecutive weeks will be required to cease serving patrons indoors, but may continue to serve patrons outdoors using the same guidelines, specifically the patrons are required to be seated at tables with table service and are to abide by the same capacity restrictions.
• Athletic events may be held but capacity will be reduced from 50% to 25%, while ensuring social distancing.
• Event centers and reception halls may continue to operate but at 25 percent capacity or 75 people, whichever is less.
• Crowd sizes shall be limited to no more than 25 percent capacity as set by the State Fire Marshal with a maximum of 75 people in any single indoor space at the same time.
Crowd sizes are limited to no more than 25 percent capacity as set by the State Fire Marshal with a maximum 150 people in any single outdoor space where individuals will be in close proximity to one another and unable to maintain strict social distancing of six feet apart from individuals who are not immediate household members.
• Amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, fairs, indoor children play centers, theme parks, arcades, children museums, and concert and music halls may operate at 25 percent capacity if the business submits a plan to the State Fire Marshal that is approved.
• Gyms and fitness center limited to 50 percent capacity
• Non-essential retail is limited to 50 percent capacity
• Churches and places of worship limited to 75 percent capacity
“If there was ever a time to step up and be a good neighbor... that time is now,” Edwards said.
Edwards’ Deputy Chief of Staff Christina Stephens said on Friday that the situation in the state has grown “ever more dire.” She added that “for the first time in recent memory” the White House Coronavirus Task Force report for Louisiana shows the state with more cases than the national average.
The task force’s weekly report shows Louisiana had 474 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week, compared to the national average for states at 356 new cases per 100,000 people.
The report points out that COVID-19 hospital admissions increased by 27 percent between Nov. 14 and Nov. 20. During that time, on average each day about 125 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 26 patients with suspected COVID-19 were reported as newly admitted each day in hospitals across the state.
“We know that these things will work, but we’ve got to have more compliance, more adherence to the restrictions and mitigation measures,” Edwards said.
More than 6,300 Louisianans have died from the virus since the outbreak was first detected here in early March.

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