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Gov. Edwards calls petition to end emergency proclamation 'reckless and irresponsible'

Edwards said his Phase 3 order remains in effect
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Posted at 2:07 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-24 15:02:21-04

BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards held a media briefing Friday on the end of the 2020 Second Extraordinary Legislative Session and called the petition to end his public health emergency "reckless and irresponsible."

On Friday, the Louisiana legislature adjourned its 2020 Second Extraordinary Session on Friday about five days earlier than expected.

The Louisiana House Republicans announced Friday morning that they are planning to file a petition aimed at revoking Edwards' coronavirus restrictions for one week.

Edwards admitted that he has not seen the petition, but said that his public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 as well as his Phase 3 executive order and mitigation measures including occupancy restrictions and the statewide mask mandate remain in effect.

The governor said that the state will be in a worse, much different place without the COVID-19 restrictions that he has in place.

He also attributed Louisiana's stable rate of cases to those restrictions.

Edwards said that he is still awaiting the petition and will look at what it says and take a look at state law as well.

The governor said that those restrictions are essential in minimizing the transmission of virus as well as reducing the number of people who are hospitalized and those who die from the disease.

“You can take away declarations, but you can’t take away emergencies," said Edwards.

As of Oct. 23, the number of coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana increased by 696 and the number of deaths had increased by 21, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

The total number of cases in the state is now at 178,870 and the number of deaths is 5,614 as of Friday.

LDH reports that 165,282 patients are "presumed recovered."

According to LDH, 620 people are currently hospitalized across the state (up 22 from Thursday), and 65 of those are on ventilators (up 1 from Thursday).

You can watch the full press briefing from Friday below:

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