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November 24, 2020 

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the aggressive third surge of COVID-19 across all regions of Louisiana has made it necessary to impose tighter mitigation measures and step back to Phase 2 in order to protect public health. 

The Governor’s updated Phase 2 proclamation, which is slightly modified from the summer, takes effect on Wednesday, November 25. It calls for reducing occupancy at some businesses, decreasing gathering sizes, limiting indoor consumption at many bars and urges everyone in Louisiana to avoid gatherings with people outside of their everyday households.

Cases are increasing, hospitalizations have climbed back up to more than 1,000, the highest level since August, and to date, the virus has claimed the lives of more than 6,300 Louisianans. According to the latest report by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Louisiana had 474 new cases per 100,000 people last week, which is higher than the national average for states, which is 356 per 100,000 people.

Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since mid-July, will continue. In addition, Gov. Edwards encourages any business that can allow its employees to work remotely to do so. He has directed all state agencies to do the same.

“There is not a single region of our state that is not seeing increases in new cases, hospitalizations and growing positivity of COVID tests, and I am incredibly concerned by Louisiana’s trajectory and our ability to continue to deliver health care to our people if our hospitals are overrun with sick patients,” Gov. Edwards said. “The data clearly tells us that we have lost all of the gains we had made and that our current mitigation efforts must be increased in order to adequately slow the spread. Now is the time to make changes, and stepping back to guidelines that closely resemble our Phase 2 restrictions is a tough but necessary step to take in order to protect the public.

“It is absolutely vital that Louisianans take this third surge of COVID seriously. While there is hopeful news about the development of an effective vaccine, the reality is that we are several months away from being able to widely vaccinate the general population in our state. This virus is with us and we must continue all of the mitigation measures including wearing a mask and social distancing in order to stay safe. All of us working together can slow the spread of COVID and flatten the curve – indeed, we already have twice. We now have more than 1,000 patients in the hospital with COVID, wiping out months of progress and leaving our hospitals in a perilous place.”

MAJOR CHANGES

Gov. Edwards’ updated order will go into effect on Wednesday, November 25 and will run for four weeks. The Governor intends to keep these restrictions in place at least through the end of the year.

  • Click here to read the Governor’s updated order.
  • Click here to view the data shared at the Governor’s media briefing.

Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate remains in place. Major changes to Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions include the below:

  • All Louisianans are encouraged to avoid gatherings of individuals not part of their households.
  • All businesses, private and public sectors, are encouraged to use remote work where they can.
  • All restaurants are limited to 50% of their indoor capacity. Restaurants should move as much dining outdoors as they can. Social distancing is required.
  • For bars in parishes above 5% positivity, bars are closed to indoor sales and consumption but open for outdoor consumption at tables only and at 25% capacity, with a maximum of 50 people. Social distancing is required. Take-out and delivery will still be available.
  • Retail businesses at 50% capacity, except for essential businesses, as defined by federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
  • Gyms may be open at 50% of their capacity.
  • Places of worship will remain at a maximum of 75% of their capacity or the number of people who can physically distance with at least six feet between each immediate household. The State Fire Marshal will put out additional COVID mitigation measures to make services safer.
  • Barber and beauty shops, and nail salons may open at 50% of their capacity.
  • Movie theaters may open at 50% of their capacity.
  • Indoor gatherings at event/receptions centers are limited to 25% capacity or up to 75 individuals.
  • Outdoor gatherings at event/reception centers are limited to 25% capacity or up to 150 individuals when strict physical distancing is not possible.
  • All sporting events will be capped at 25% capacity.

Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate is still in place. For complete guidance on the new Phase 2, visit the Open Safely portal at opensafely.la.gov.

 

More information about COVID-19 can be found in the member's only section of the website...in our communities, please click here for the direct link.

Guidance on the Statewide Face Covering Mandate
Business and Workplace Guidance by the CDC


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.