BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards announced during a press briefing on Thursday that he will allow high school football stadiums to have 50% capacity that will go into effect on Friday, Oct. 23.
Edwards announced he will amend his current Phase 3 order Thursday to allow outdoor high school football stadiums to move to 50% capacity, rather than 25% in parishes with positivity rates of 5% or less for two consecutive weeks.
Edwards said that he made the decision to make the change after meeting with the Louisiana House Speaker and the Senate President.
Schools, districts or local government will not be required to opt in.
As with the Phase 3 order that relates to the capacity of bars, if a parish’s positivity rate rises past a 10% positivity rate for two consecutive weeks, then stadiums will go back to 25% capacity.
Edwards said that currently there are 26 parishes that qualify to move stadium capacity to 50%.
According to the governor's office, the list of 26 parishes that qualify, based on data from the Louisiana Department of Health that was updated on Wednesday, are:
- Assumption Parish
- Avoyelles Parish
- Catahoula Parish
- East Baton Rouge Parish
- East Feliciana Parish
- Evangeline Parish
- Grant Parish
- Iberia Parish
- Iberville Parish
- Jefferson Parish
- Lafayette Parish
- Madison Parish
- Orleans Parish
- Rapides Parish
- St. Bernard Parish
- St. Charles Parish
- St. James Parish
- St. John the Baptist Parish
- St. Landry Parish
- St. Martin Parish
- St. Mary Parish
- St. Tammany Parish
- Terrebonne Parish
- Vermilion Parish
- West Feliciana Parish
- Winn Parish
The Phase 3 order is set to expire on Nov. 6, 2020. The updated Phase 3 order can be read here.
Edwards said that overall the state is stable and has the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases per capita than any other southern state according to his weekly report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
He said that Louisiana also has the lowest rate of positivity of COVID-19 than any other state in the South.
However, he said there is still work to do and the state has a ways to go.
The governor said that disaster recovery and COVID-19 remain the top priorities in Baton Rouge and around Louisiana. He added that while the storms have passed, there is still a long road ahead to full recovery.
President Donald Trump has approved Edwards' request for a major disaster declaration after Hurricane Delta. He said everyone living in the impacted parishes of Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jeff Davis and Vermilion Parishes to register for FEMA assistance by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-3362.
The deadlines for residents affected by Hurricane Laura have less than a week to apply for FEMA assistance. That deadline is Oct. 27.
The deadline for diaster unemployment applications is Oct. 30. More information can be found at www.LAWorks.net.
The deadline for those in the fishing industry that were impacted by Hurricanes Laura and Delta to apply for financial assistance from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is Nov. 23.
The governor said that 4,412 Louisianans remain in shelters that includes 4,313 of those being evacuees after having to evacuate after Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Those residents are in 10 hotels in New Orleans, 1 hotel in Baton Rouge and 1 hotel in Lafayette while 46 remain at the MegaShelter in Alexandria.
All Louisiana residents who had to evacuate to hotels in Texas have now returned back to Louisiana.
The governor's Thursday press conference can be viewed below:
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