Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday signed an extension of his order keeping the state in Phase Two and extending the statewide mask mandate, certain bar closures, and limitations on public gatherings for at least another 21 days, through Friday, August 28.
The order is largely unchanged from the previous order, but does remove a provision that allowed parishes to opt out of the statewide mask mandate if their parish dropped below a certain incidence level of COVID-19. No parish now meets this requirement.
The Phase Two order also includes the closure of bars to on-premises consumption and limits gatherings to 50 people.
Gov. Edwards' office reiterated that the order matches recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the advice of public health experts. The order was also upheld by a district court judge.
In a press briefing this afternoon, Gov. Edwards said the state is continuing to see modest, but positive improvements in COVID numbers.
"We're just asking everyone to do your part and to understand that the progress we have started to see over the last several days is positive, but we can lose it. If we do what we did after Memorial Day, we will lose our positive gains," said the governor. "On the other hand, if more people will comply with the mitigation measures, we will actually accelerate the improvements we are making and they will be long lasting. We can lower our transmission rate and save lives. We've got a long way to go, but I am optimistic that we are going to get there. We have flattened the curve once, and we can do it again by doubling down on these effective, proven mitigation measures."
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