Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards extended the current Phase 2 coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday at a press conference for another 21 days as COVID-19 metrics remain high in the state ahead of Christmas.
“It’s clear we still have a lot of work to do,” said Edwards.
According to Edwards, COVID-19 data of the state may be seeing a plateau of cases, but at a “very high level.”
“Even though it appears we’re starting to plateau, we’re plateauing on a very high level,” Gov. Edwards noted. “That is concerning.”
The governor said the COVID-19 positivity rate has dipped but asked people not to hold traditional large Christmas gatherings.
On Monday, the state reported the largest single-day COVID death toll since July.
Official figures from the Louisiana Department of Health showed the state has over 290,000 confirmed cases so far and reported around 7,000 deaths. The state received 39,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine last week.
Revised Phase 2 restrictions:
- Sports events limited to 25% capacity
- Restaurants, gyms, casinos, non-essential retail limited to 50% capacity
- Churches and places of worship limited to 75% capacity
- Bars can allow up to 25% capacity indoors in parishes with a positivity rate below 5%. Parishes with positivity rates higher than 5% can allow only outdoor seating at bars, up to 50 people.
- Event centers limited to 25% (up to 75 people at indoor venues and up to 150 at outdoor venues where social distancing is not possible)
- Mask mandate remains in place
- Employers suggested to maximize remote work when possible
- Families asked to engage in “safe” activities, do not gather with people from outside households