Gov. Edwards will lift his stay-at-home order on Friday, with a new order in place for the following 21 days, he announced today.
"After discussing the data with public health experts, epidemiologists and the Resilient Louisiana Commission, we will be moving to Phase I on Friday, May 15, and so we will be lifting the stay-at-home order," Edwards said.
"The next proclamation will be issued Friday and will be in place for 21 days, and so the next announcement will be made on June the 1," Edwards said.
Edwards said he wants to thank citizens who have complied with the order up until now.
"The bottom line is, the people of Louisiana have worked really hard to slow the spread of COVID-19," he said.
Under Phase I, there will be fewer businesses closed, but some still will be closed, including tattoo parlors, bars, amusement parks, massage parlors/establishments and other businesses.
Businesses that now can open include hair and nail salon, gyms and fitness centers - but with restrictions. They can only have 25 percent of their occupancy and they must practice social distancing. Any employees working with customers will have to wear masks.
In restaurants, there must be 10 feet between tables. That's why the occupancies are being limited to 25 percent, and that capacity includes all employees, Edwards said. Social distancing for outside seating will still be required.
People at risk should not go out of the house unless necessary, and people who live with them should not, either, officials say.
Louisiana is following the Phase I requirements set out by the White House, Edwards said. You can see those here.
Here's a slide from the press conference explaining it:
The proclamation will last 21 days, with another announcement anticipated on June 1, Edwards said. He urged faith leaders to read it closely to see how it affects them, and he reminded businesses of the state website geared toward helping businesses with notifications and details on how they are affected.
Dr. Alex Billioux, Assistant Secretary of Health for the Louisiana Department of Health's Office of Public Health, presented some information on the data that was reviewed to make the decisions.
Most regions of the state show decreasing deaths, cases and hospitalizations - including Acadiana - except for increasing cases in the Alexandria and Monroe regions.
Some increases in case reports probably are related to increased testing, but the percentage of positive tests is a data set that also is examined, he said. Expanded testing is one of the requirements of continued re-opening.
In New Orleans, which originally was one of the nation's hot spots, the news is good, Billioux said. There's been a steady decline in cases and hospitalizations.
There's still some concern about the Shreveport area, where hospitalizations seem to be declining, but cases are not declining as quickly.
The Monroe area is showing an increasing number of cases, he said.
On Monday, May 11, Gov. John Bel Edwards will hold a media briefing about Louisiana’s response to COVID-19.
KATC will live stream the 2:30 pm press conference on KATC, KATC.com and the KATC Facebook page.
In Monday's update, the Louisiana Department of Health was reporting 31,815 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Louisiana, with 2,242 deaths.
The number of coronavirus patients "presumed recovered" in the state is now at 22,608. That is an increase of more than 2,000.
LDH updates their numbers at noon each day.
For the latest from LDH and to see a breakdown of numbers by parish, click here.
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