Louisiana returns to Phase 2 COVID restrictions — with some modifications

Governor John Bel Edwards, during a press conference in Baton Rouge, announced that the State of Louisiana would return to Phase 2 COVID restrictions — albeit with some modifications — after a statewide rise in cases heading into the holiday season. The changes will go into effect Wednesday, November 25, 2020 and last 28 days until December 23, 2020.

“If we continue on the path we are on, we will have no choice but to add new restrictions,” Edwards said, imploring Louisiana citizens to limit gatherings and to help flatten the curve again.

The modified Phase 2 is as follows:

  • Gatherings limited to 75 indoors, 150 outdoors.
  • Restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, casinos, gyms and fitness centers, and non-essential retail will be capped at 50% occupancy.
  • Bars in parishes with a higher than 5% positivity rate as calculated by the Louisiana Department of Health will be limited to 25% capacity and outdoor seating only. Bars in parishes with lower than 5% positivity will be allowed to serve for indoor consumption. Bars with restaurant conditional permits may operate at 50% capacity. At the time of this writing, LDH lists Caddo Parish positivity at 8.9% and Bossier Parish at 11%.
  • Churches will be allowed to continue at 75% maximum capacity
  • School closures have been left to local entities’ discretion.

In practice, social distancing requirements for seating may reduce capacity below the above percentages depending on the space available to the business.

Edwards closed the press conference with the following remarks: “We don’t have a moment to waste. Everybody has to do their part. If we do, and I’m sure that we will, then we are going to get through this. So, I have every confidence in the people of Louisiana. They have always inspired me by their goodness, their kindness, their generosity. And I believe they will do ti again. So let’s work together, let’s save lives.”