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Phase Two extension to remain in place at least one more week

Staff Report

BATON ROUGE — An executive order Gov. John Bel Edwards signed last week will keep Phase Two and the statewide mask mandate, closure of bars to on-site consumption and gathering size limits in Louisiana until Friday, Sept. 11.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards

Despite progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the state, The White House Coronavirus Task Force still has Louisiana in the red zone for new cases, just as schools and colleges return to campus and in the wake of Hurricane Laura. Further, almost half of the state’s parishes have positivity rates in excess of 10 percent. 

“Louisiana has seen improvement in slowing the spread of COVID-19, and this would not be possible without the hard work of the people of Louisiana who have faithfully followed the mitigation measures, including wearing their masks when in public," Gov. Edwards said. "While we have seen drops in hospitalizations and new COVID-19 cases, we also know that we have more people moving around because of schools and colleges going back to in-person classes, which is one of the reasons we will stay in Phase 2 for another two weeks.

“The White House Coronavirus Task Force also continues to recommend that Louisiana keep its current mitigation measures in place, as Louisiana remains in the red zone for new cases and many of our parishes continue to have testing positivity rates higher than 10 percent,” he said.

Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the response for the White House, and she noted Louisiana’s improvement, but also recommended that the state keeps the current measures in place until it gest positivity, cases and hospitalizations even lower.

“In addition, Hurricane Laura has caused Louisiana to pause its testing, which means that we will be flying blind with data for a couple of weeks when we need it the most to gauge the impact of resuming K-12 schools and higher education,” Gov. Edwrds said.