In response to a surge in COVID-19 cases, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday the state would enter a revised Phase 2 coronavirus protocol.
The new emergency order is set to take effect Wednesday and will be in effect for 28 days through December 23.
Edwards said the latest moves are an effort to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed when cases are spiking across the country.
Dr. Joe Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health noted that with Louisiana in lockstep with the rest of the country with seeing coronavirus cases surging, help from other states may not be available as it was earlier in the year.
Under the revised Phase 2, the following occupancy limits will be in place, along with social distancing and mask mandates:
- Up to 25% occupancy: sporting events
- Up to 50% occupancy: gyms/fitness centers, restaurants/coffee shops/cafes, casinos/video poker establishments, non-essential retail
- Up to 75% occupancy: churches and places of worship
As for bars, they can be open in parishes with 5% or below positivity rates, though indoor occupancy will be limited to 25% of capacity. In parishes with positivity rates over 5%, there will be no indoor service and outdoor service will be capped at 50 people, seated and spaced out.
Indoor events and gatherings will be limited to 25% occupancy or up to 75 people. Outdoor events and gatherings will also have a 25% occupancy limit or up to 150 people where social distancing is not possible.
When it comes to schools being open, Edwards said that decision will remain with local districts on how to best protect their students.
Watch the Governor's COVID-19 update from Tuesday here (courtesy LPB):