Louisiana to remain in Phase Two at least 21 more days

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2020

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Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday that he will extend his Phase Two order — including the statewide mask mandate, closure of bars to on-site consumption and crowd size limits of no more than 50 people — for at least another 21 days.

The current order expires on Friday. Edwards will sign a new order before the end of the week that extends this order through Friday, Aug. 28.

“Louisiana is beginning to see the positive impact of the mask mandate in its COVID-19 data, including a decline in the number of people who are reporting to emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms, decreasing new cases across the state and declining or plateauing hospitalizations in many regions of our state,” Edwards said at a Tuesday press conference. “Still, every single one of our 64 parishes has high COVID incidence. According to the White House report yesterday, Louisiana is in the red zone for cases, indicating more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week, and also for COVID-19 test positivity, indicating a rate above 10 percent. In its weekly recommendations to the state, the White House Coronavirus Task Force specifically recommends continuing both the statewide mask mandate and the closure of bars to on-premises consumption.

“We may be seeing fewer new cases but there still is a lot of COVID statewide. We now have ticked above 50,000 active confirmed cases, which means there is more COVID in our state than ever before. We need deeper, sustained gains. That is why I am extending the restrictions we have in place for another 21 days, so we can continue the progress we are making and protect against additional spread of COVID-19.

“We know the statewide mask mandate is working, and I am deeply appreciative of the vast majority of Louisianans and businesses who are acting responsibly and caring for their neighbors by wearing masks, staying home when they are sick, practicing social distancing and washing their hands frequently. We are in this together for the long haul, and I am confident that we can continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state, if each and every Louisianan will recommit to these necessary mitigation measures. We are at a critical point in our battle against COVID-19, and we need every person in our state to play their part.”