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Gov. Edwards announces mask mandate for residents, changes for bars

Gov Edwards 7-11
Gov. Edwards
Posted at 11:58 AM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 18:13:48-04

The Governor's Office has provided more detailed information on the mandatory mask mandate and closure of bars that was announced Saturday afternoon.

A full release is bleow:

On Saturday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced on a mandatory mask requirement for Louisiana and ordered bars in the state closed to on-premises consumption, as the state experiences increasing spread of COVID-19.

The Governor also limited indoor social gatherings like wedding receptions, class reunions and parties to 50 total people. With these additional restrictions, Louisiana remains in Phase Two of the Roadmap for a Resilient Louisiana.

The statewide mask mandate, which will allow for parishes without high COVID-19 incidence to opt out if they choose, and bar closures go into effect Monday, July 13 at 12:01 a.m., per a revised Phase Two proclamation signed today. The order will also limit the size of gatherings to 50. The new order is set to expire July 24, 2020, but could be extended.

“Cases in Louisiana continue to increase, including setting a record-high number of new cases reported in one day, today and yesterday. More than two thousand new COVID infections reported each of these days and increased hospitalizations are signs that we continue to go in the wrong direction in our work to control COVID-19 in our state. While I had hoped to avoid going backwards on restrictions, it is obvious that it is necessary to slow the spread of infection in our state, as COVID-19 has spread to every corner, at a level higher than we have previously seen. This is why I am now mandating face coverings statewide and also closing all bars in Louisiana to on-premises consumption, in addition to putting in limits on the size of indoor gatherings,” Gov. Edwards said. “Right now, all Louisianans need to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing their face masks, keeping social distance, washing their hands frequently and staying at home when they are feeling sick. These are reasonable expectations while we fight to reduce the spread of the illness in our state. This approach also gives us the best possible chance to again flatten the curve without moving back to Phase One.”

MASK MANDATE

The statewide mask mandate applies to all 64 parishes in Louisiana. However, parishes with a COVID-19 incidence of fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 people for the most recent two-week period for which data is available could choose to opt out of the mandate. Parish presidents do not have to opt out and may choose to keep a mask mandate in place. Currently, only three parishes in Louisiana do not exceed this standard, which will be updated every other week by the Louisiana Department of Health: Grant, Red River and West Feliciana.

The order requires face coverings for everyone ages 8 and older except for the following:

  • Anyone who has a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering
  • Anyone who is consuming a drink or food
  • Anyone who is trying to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired
  • Anyone who is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience
  • Anyone temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes
  • Anyone who is a resident of a parish without a high COVID incidence that has opted out of the masking mandate

Masks are strongly recommended for children ages 2 to 7.
CLOSURE OF BARS TO ALL ON PREMISES CONSUMPTION

All bars, including those with food permits from the Louisiana Department of Health, will be closed to on-premises consumption. They can operate for curbside takeout or delivery service only.

Since the start of the crisis, Louisiana has identified at least 36 outbreaks, impacting at least 405 people, involving bars, which were actually closed under the Governor’s original Stay at Home order. Public health officials believe going to bars is a higher public health risk than visiting other types of businesses because people are socializing and cannot wear masks when they drink. In addition, young people under the age of 30 make up the largest percentage of new COVID cases in Louisiana.

GATHERING SIZE

The new order also limits the size of social gatherings to 50 people indoors. Outdoor social gatherings are also limited to 50 people if individuals cannot avoid being within six feet of one another.

This crowd size limitation shall not apply to those businesses deemed essential as defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency or any businesses and organizations operating at 50% capacity pursuant to Paragraphs (1) through (6) of Subsection (G) of Section 2 of 83 JBE 2020, including churches and other faith-based organizations.

The 50-person limit will apply to indoor gatherings, like receptions, weddings and others. The changes are based on the advice of public health officials.

Click here to read the proclamation.

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BATON ROUGE – Gov. Edwards announced that a mask mandate will be put in place and bars will be closing in the state.

Gov Edwards says that the current order in place in the state is being modified. As part of the order, Louisiana will stay in phase two until July 24.

On Monday July 13, changes will go into affect. They include a masks mandate for anyone 8 years old and older unless the person has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.

Masks will be required to be worn indoors and outdoors when a person cannot be physically distant from others. For example, if a person is at a park and cannot physically distance from others, they will need to wear a mask.

Businesses will be required to tell customers that they cannot be inside locations without a mask. Those who do not wear a mask must let business owners know that they are not required to do so (medical condition exemptions). Edwards says that proof of needing a mask would not be required but those exempt from wearing one should provide proof is possible.

Health Officials says that those not able to wear a mask because of medical conditions should reconsider going out where they cannot be socially distant, if possible.

There is no goal to be out and writing citations, Gov Edwards said. The mandate will also not be enforced in churches but Edwards says they are requested to enforce mask wearing at their locations.

Edwards says that parishes may opt out of mandate if they don't have a high instance of COVID-19. Only three parishes meet that criteria: Grant, Red River and West Feliciana Parish.

As part of the coming mandate, all bars with and without food service will close. Take out or curbside pick-up will still be permitted for these businesses.

Indoor social gatherings are limited to 50 people total. Outdoor social gatherings must have physical distance but no limit on a gathering number was given. There will be no changes to recommended commercial establishment occupancy already announced in Phase 2.

Edwards says that changes come as Louisiana continues to see increase test growth, positive tests and hospitalizations increasing

As of July 11, the number of coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana increased by 2,167 and the number of deaths had increased by 23, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

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The total number of cases in the state is now at 76,803 A total of 3,295 people have died of the disease in Louisiana as of Saturday.

LDH is reporting that 46,334 coronavirus patients are "presumed recovered" (updated weekly, last updated 7/7/20).

The LDH reports that 1,182 people are hospitalized. Of those, 121 required ventilators.

Parishes in Acadiana

Acadia - 1,297 cases (up 65) | 45 deaths (up 1)

Calcasieu - 3,061 cases (up 86) | 70 deaths (up 7)

Evangeline - 322 cases (up 16 ) | 1 death (no change)

Iberia - 1,228 cases (up 47) | 51 deaths (up 2)

Jefferson Davis - 597 cases (up 23) | 12 deaths (up 1)

Lafayette - 3,707 cases (up 214) | 52 deaths (up 1)

St. Landry - 1,080 cases (up 57) | 59 deaths (no change)

St. Martin - 999 cases (up 36) | 27 deaths (no change)

St. Mary - 741 cases (up 37) | 39 deaths (no change)

Vermilion - 532 cases (up 39) | 7 deaths (up 1)

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