Louisiana moving back to modified Phase Two

Published 3:48 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2020


BATON ROUGE — Governor John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana is moving back to a revised Phase Two reopening as the state and the nation deal with the impacts of a third surge of COVID-19 infections.

For the next four weeks, sporting events will be limited to 25 percent capacity. Indoor gatherings will be limited to 25 percent capacity, or up to 75 people. Meanwhile, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 percent capacity, or up to 150 people.

Gyms, restaurants, coffee shops, non-essential retail and casinos will be limited to 50 percent capacity. Churches and places of worship will continue to operate at a maximum of 75 percent capacity with social distancing encouraged.

Under the new order, bars can be open to on premises inside consumption for parishes under a 5 percent positivity rate for over two weeks, as outlined by the Louisiana Department of Health website. The LDH website will update positivity rates for individual parishes tomorrow, Nov. 25. Bars in parishes over a 5 percent positivity rate can continue outdoor consumption. Capacity for bars is still capped at a 25 percent capacity.

The mask mandate will remain in place. The modified Phase Two will expire Dec. 23, according to Edwards. However, that does not mean Louisiana will move back to Phase Three in time for Christmas.

This week, Louisiana is reporting 474 new cases per 100,000 people. The data shows a major spike since last week, when Louisiana reported 172 new cases per 100,000 people. There are 1,052 hospitalized COVID-19 patients across the state, up 40 from yesterday. To date, there have been 6,323 COVID-related deaths in Louisiana.

The River Parishes have also seen increases in new cases and hospitalizations, according to Tuesday’s press briefing.

“With the trajectory we have been on for the past 10 days or so, it is imperative that we take action, and that we take action now,” Edwards said.

Health experts ask families to understand the risks and make informed decisions this holiday season.