Will Louisiana Move to Phase 3?
Since June 5th, Louisiana has been stuck in Phase 2. During that time, a statewide mask mandate was put in place by Governor John Bel Edwards on July 13th and the Louisiana Department of Health's reported case numbers spiked to levels seen earlier in the Coronavirus Pandemic.
But, with the positivity rate, the daily count, and hospitalizations continuing to decline, many are expecting Gov. Edwards to announce a move forward at his 2 p.m. press conference on Tuesday.
"Obviously I hope that we can," says Gov. Edwards in this Louisiana Radio Network article. "I hope the data supports that."
So, what would Phase 3 look like, according to CDC Guidelines?
- VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS (Elderly individuals and Individuals with serious underlying health conditions) can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.
- LOW-RISK POPULATIONS should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.
- Resume UNRESTRICTED STAFFING of worksites.
- VISITS TO SENIOR CARE FACILITIES AND HOSPITALS can resume. Those who interact with residents and patients must be diligent regarding hygiene.
- LARGE VENUES (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under limited physical distancing protocols.
- GYMS can remain open if they adhere to standard sanitation protocols.
- BARS may operate with increased standing room occupancy, where applicable.
In Phase 2, Bars, spas, and tattoo parlors were allowed to reopen, with restrictions and at 25% capacity. Arcades and trampoline parks, and Summer camps (not Sleep-away camps) were allowed to open as well.
But, when Gov. Edwards introduced the mask mandate, he also closed down bars as well.
Businesses that have been operating at 50% capacity includes the following:
- Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops
- Shopping malls (including food courts, following restaurant guidance)
- Gyms and fitness centers
- Barber and beauty shops and nail salons
- Movie theaters
- Racetracks (not open to spectators)
- Museums (including children’s museums), zoos, aquariums (no tactile exhibits)
- Bars and breweries with LDH food permits
- Massage establishments, spas, and tattoo establishments (under strict guidance from LDH), esthetician services (under strict guidance from the Cosmetology Board)
- Pool halls, bowling alleys and skating rinks (children must be accompanied by an adult)
- Event Centers and wedding venues
- Outdoor playgrounds and play centers (children must be accompanied by an adult)
- Indoor Funerals and Weddings continued outdoor services with no crowd size limitation as long as social distancing is practiced.
- Casinos and Video Poker Establishments (but limited to 75 percent of their gaming positions, with spacing to allow for social distancing and with enhanced sanitation).
Children's Museums were allowed to reopen, but with restrictions.
Live music venues, though, have remained closed, as well as the following businesses:
- Amusement Parks
- Water Parks
- Contact Sports
- Children’s Indoor Play Centers
- Theme Parks
- Concert and Music Halls
- Other similar businesses
Expectations are that Gov. Edwards will keep the mask mandate intact even when Louisiana enters Phase 3.