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Cases of the coronavirus are surging and hospitalizations are rising in Louisiana. Governor John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday that he will order the state back to Phase Two, but a modified version of the plan. New restrictions go into effect today, the day before Thanksgiving.
Many bars will have to close and most businesses will go back to 50% occupancy under the new restrictions. The governor is making the move due to hospital officials telling him that hospitals will soon be overwhelmed if the trend doesn’t slow down. Officials are worried that the Thanksgiving holiday will accelerate the spread of the virus as families and friends come together to celebrate.
Under the new rules, gatherings will be limited to 75 indoors and 150 outdoors, or 25% occupancy at event spaces. Restaurants, retailers and other businesses will move from 75% to 50% occupancy. Bars in parishes with over 5% test positivity must close to indoor consumption unless they have a restaurant conditional permit, in which case they can operate at 50%.
Edwards said in his press conference announcing the changes that Louisiana is “in for a rough patch.”
“Because of the trajectory we’ve been on… It is imperative we take action and we take action now,” Edwards said.
Louisiana is experiencing a third surge of COVID-19. With the continued rise in cases and hospitalizations, we have reason to worry and to make necessary changes in how we are battling this virus. Today, I am announcing that we will be going to a revised Phase 2. #lagov pic.twitter.com/9nGZWPquK0
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) November 24, 2020
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