BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says the state will stay in a will hold a “modified” Phase Two for another 28 days, until February 10th. Louisiana has been in this modified version of Phase Two since the end of November.
The governor also talked about the state’s continued rise of COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations.
Governor Edwards and his top doctor both said the next four to six weeks will the roughest since the virus began, but if we want to limit it to that long, there are things we can start doing today before vaccines are widely available.
“I know many people are tired of hearing it. I know many people are tired of doing these things, but this is the challenge that we’ve been given,” Edwards urged. “This is our moment, and either we’re going to do it or we’re not, and if we don’t do it, needless of our brothers and our sisters across this state across this country are going to die.”
According to (Dr. Joseph Kanter, interim assistant secretary of public health, the risk of community spread is at an all-time high in all 64 parishes. Each is seeing increasing cases, hospitalizations, and percent positivity above 10%.
In Tuesday’s press briefing Kanter said, “It has never been as bad as it is right now. There has never been more COVID in Louisiana than there is right now. “
It’s for that reason Governor Edwards decided Tuesday to extend the current phase two guidelines another four weeks, and he hopes they are followed better than over the holidays.
“While many individuals have been extremely careful and responsible, too many have not,” Edwards stated.
He said the light at the end of the tunnel is the vaccine, but the tunnel is long and the supply is low. Over 35,000 vaccines were distributed to in-state community providers this week. but not all of the 210 community providers will be resupplied next week.
“We have a lot more people eager to get the vaccine and a lot more providers eager to give the vaccine than we have vaccine available from the feds. That’s the number one challenge that we face right now,” Dr. Kanter stated.
Governor Edwards urged employers to maximize the number of employees who can work remotely to help calm numbers to come.
- Under modified phase two:
- nonessential businesses will continue limiting customer numbers to 50% of their occupancy rate.
- Churches will stay restricted to 75% occupancy.
- Bars are limited to takeout, delivery, and outside seating unless their parishes meet low percentages of positive coronavirus tests.
- Also, indoor events will continue to be limited to 75 people or a maximum of 25% occupancy, whichever is less.
- Outdoor events are also limited to 25% with a maximum of 150 people.
The news conference was carried live on KLFY-TV and KLFY.COM. You can watch it by clicking here.