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Louisiana will stay in Phase 3, keeping its strong COVID-19 mitigation measures, including a continued statewide mask mandate, in place for another 28 days, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today.
The Governor moved Louisiana to Phase 3 in September, following declines in new cases and hospitalizations. Case numbers have spiked already twice in Louisiana – once in April and again in July.
“Today, I’m announcing that Louisiana will stay in Phase 3 until at least November 6, as we continue to implement the mitigation measures developed for the state by the White House Coronavirus Task Force and supported by health experts that are having a positive impact on our battle against this public health emergency,” Gov. Edwards said. “All of the data shows improvement in Louisiana’s COVID situation because of the strong mitigation measures we have in place and because of the hard work of the people of Louisiana. These measures, which are supported by science, are allowing us to keep our case count and hospitalizations down, even as most of Louisiana’s businesses have expanded their operations and more people are moving about.
“We know that as schools return to in person learning, restaurants and bars open even more widely and more events begin, there is more risk to spreading COVID. I also remain incredibly concerned about how Hurricane Delta will impact our ability to operate community testing and also displace people in ways that may lead to spread.”
On Monday, Gov. Edwards announced that alcohol could be sold at sporting events in parishes that qualified and had opted in to re-open bars for on-site alcohol consumption, which is the only major change in the Governor’s Phase 3 order.
In addition, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal will issue guidance for fairs and festivals, which will allow event producers to submit a plan for approval. No outdoor fair or festival shall have more than 500 people.
Louisiana Economic Development (LED)
Gov. John Bel Edwards and Secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development announced the opening of an LED help desk that provides email and hotline support for Louisiana businesses impacted by COVID-19.
For COVID-19 business questions, LED may be reached at LEDbiz@la.gov or via the toll-free hotline, (833) 457-0531. The COVID-19 hotline is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Be aware that high call volumes might result in delays. Callers are encouraged to keep trying, leave a voice mail or contact LED via email.
For Louisiana businesses seeking federal financial assistance, they are encouraged first to contact the U.S. Small Business Administration at SBA.gov/Disaster to apply for COVID-19 disaster aid. The SBA Customer Service Center may be reached at (800) 659-2955, with an additional TTY line for the hearing-impaired at (800) 877-8339.
“Louisiana has experienced the fastest rate of increase for confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, and it is imperative that everyone in our state take part in the efforts to slow the spread of this disease,” Gov. Edwards said. “Businesses are making tremendous sacrifices to slow the spread, and resources are available to help businesses navigate this crisis. If your business has questions, please make use of the resources that Louisiana Economic Development has made available to you.”
“This LED help desk is the latest of our efforts to serve Louisiana businesses and to help them sustain operations through the challenges presented by COVID-19,” Secretary Pierson said. “At our website — OpportunityLouisiana.com/covid19 — you’ll find many additional resources for COVID-19 business assistance. We encourage you to use them, and we thank our many partners across Louisiana for their dedicated support of our efforts.”
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Gov. Edwards issued proclamations meant to slow the spread of the disease. The health and safety of Louisiana residents is the utmost priority for the administration.
LED is working with all levels of government and the private sector to support Louisiana businesses and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the LED website — OpportunityLouisiana.com/covid19 — businesses may find workplace guidance from the Governor’s Stay At Home Order and other proclamations; COVID-19 public health recommendations; sources of COVID-19 financial aid; regional resources across the state; and links to information from business and industry trade associations.