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March 30, 2021
Some restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, including strict occupancy restrictions for bars and restaurants, will be eased this week following sustained improvements in COVID-19 hospitalizations and vaccinations, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday. Social distancing of six feet will still be required in businesses and Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate remains in place.
“At this point in the pandemic, our three best tools for slowing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our hospitals operational are vaccinations, masks and distance,” Gov. Edwards said. “Right now, we have fewer people hospitalized with COVID-19 than we did this time last year, and we have a greatly improved supply of three highly effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines, which are available to everyone 16 and older in Louisiana. While COVID-19 and its variants remain a major public health risk, using the tools of vaccination, masking and distancing, we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. At least 20 states and one region of Louisiana are experiencing an increase in cases and hospitalizations, likely because of the U.K. variant. We aren’t yet out of the woods.
“Vaccination is the best way we have to put this pandemic in our rearview mirror. While we work to vaccinate even more of our neighbors, now more than ever it is critical that people wear facemasks when they are in public and keep six feet of social distance between them and anyone who isn’t in their immediate household,” Gov. Edwards said. “Today we are taking an important step forward, but all of us play a role in making sure our cases don’t spike again. Get your vaccine now that it’s your turn and help your friends and family members get their shots as well. Working together, we can bring back Louisiana.”
The Governor’s updated public health emergency order keeps requirements for six feet of social distancing in all businesses, as well as other mitigation measures deemed necessary by the Louisiana Department of Health and the State Fire Marshal and posted on OpenSafely.La.gov. The order runs for 28 days and expires on April 28, 2021.
The Governor’s updated order removes the limitations on when bars and restaurants may serve alcohol, defaulting to local ordinances. People younger than 21 are still not allowed inside bars and bars are only allowed to provide patrons with socially distanced seated service, under the new order.
Salons and beauty shops, gyms and fitness centers, malls and casinos also will not have capacity limits, though social distancing and the mask mandate remain in place along with any other additional measures that may be required by the State Fire Marshal.
Businesses and venues that host larger gatherings, like receptions halls, will remain capped at 50 percent of their capacity, with a maximum gathering size of not more than 500 people indoors and strict social distancing. Outdoor events will be capped at 50 percent capacity and social distancing is also required. Some events may require prior approval by the State Fire Marshal. Businesses should visit OpenSafely.La.gov for more information.
Indoor and outdoor sporting events will be limited to 50 percent of their capacity, with social distancing. Masks are required under all circumstances.
Click here to volunteer for Bring Back Louisiana, the state’s grassroots effort to help everyone get a COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
All Louisianans 16 years old or older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, March 29, following news from the federal government that Louisiana’s allocation of vaccine doses will significantly increase next week, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today.
Since the start of the vaccination process, Louisiana’s weekly allocations of vaccine from the federal government have more than doubled, with Louisiana now slated to get more than 148,000 first doses directly next week, in addition to vaccine doses provided to partner pharmacies in a federal pharmacy program as well as the Federally Qualified Health Care Center program. More than one million Louisianans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. With the B.1.1.7., or U.K. variant, continuing to increase in Louisiana and neighboring states, it is essential to get Louisiana vaccinated as quickly and equitably as possible.
“Based on the doses that we will have available in the coming week, now is absolutely the time to expand vaccine eligibility as broadly as we possibly can, which is to everyone age 16 or older in Louisiana. This is an exciting development, but the hard work of making sure our family members, friends, coworkers and neighbors all have access to the vaccine will continue for months,” Gov. Edwards said. “Our goal has been to get vaccine doses we receive into someone’s arm within seven days of the doses arriving, because a shot sitting on a shelf doesn’t help us end this pandemic. All three available vaccines are safe and effective for every community and they represent our best hope of being able to Bring Louisiana Back.”
Currently, all people in Louisiana who are 65 and older, all health care workers, people ages 16 to 64 with certain health conditions and people 16 or older in certain essential jobs are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana. Starting Monday, March 29, all of the eligibility guidelines will be dropped in Louisiana and anyone who is 16 or older will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Appointments will still be required and providers may need time to update their scheduling systems, which means that people may have to wait a few days to schedule their appointments for next week. There are three authorized COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States: two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and a one-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson. People ages 16 and 17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and they should consult their primary care doctor or vaccine provider to ensure the proper vaccine is administered.
“I am deeply grateful for Louisiana’s health care workers and vaccine providers who have worked tirelessly not only to treat sick patients, but now to vaccinate our people. This has been an absolutely unprecedented effort and Louisiana’s nurses, doctors and other health care workers have risen to the occasion each and every time they’ve been called upon. I hope people will be patient over the next few days as providers begin accepting appointments. Please know that there will be enough doses for everyone who wants a shot to get one eventually,” Gov. Edwards said.
Last week, the Louisiana Department of Health launched the Bring Back Louisiana grassroots campaign, which will bring COVID-19 vaccines to communities of concern through community events and targeted outreach. To sign up to volunteer for this effort, click here.
For information about where to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana and for more information, visit COVIDVaccine.la.gov.