BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) – Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a press conference this afternoon that he is moving the state back to a “modified Phase 2” in the COVID-19 mitigation measures.
Restaurants, gyms, casinos, coffee shops and non-essential retail establishments must reduce capacity to 50%. Churches may remain at 75%, but must continue to socially distance.
The mask mandate remains in place.
Bars can remain open to consumption on-premises in parishes with an average positivity rate of 5% or lower over a two-week period. Those in parishes with an average positivity over 5% may open at 25% capacity with no more than 50 people total. All other current restrictions must remain in place. Bars must close by 11 and no one under 21 will be allowed in bars.
Indoor gatherings that do not fall into the above categories must be limited to 25% capacity with no more than 75 people. Outdoor gatherings can have no more than 50% capacity with no more than 150 people, especially where social distancing is not possible.
Sports spectator facilities are limited to 25% capacity.
The new restrictions will be in place until Dec. 23, though Edwards seemed to suggest that they will likely be extended until well after Christmas.
“We’re in for a couple, three really tough months around the country,” said Edwards.
He also said if the state continues at the trajectory it’s currently on, more restrictions could coming. With colder weather and rain coming in the next few days, more people will be moving indoors, where chances to catch the disease are 20 times higher than those who remain outdoors with the same activities.
Edwards said he is encouraging all employers private and public to make use of “tele work” as much as possible, and said he has directed state agencies to do this already.
Watch the full Nov. 24, 2020, press conference here: