BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday that Louisiana will remain in a Phase 2 until February.
The current Phase 2 emergency proclamation in Louisiana is set to expire on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Edwards said that the state will stay in a modified Phase 2 until Feb. 10.
The latest extension of the governor's emergency proclamation order keeps the COVID mitigation measures in place for another 28 days, and strongly recommends that all businesses in Louisiana move to remote work for as many employees as possible.
The governor’s statewide mask mandate also stays in place.
The governor said that every region of the state has a positivity rate of more than 10 percent.
Louisiana is ranked 21 in the country for average daily cases. As of Tuesday Jan. 12, Louisiana reported 4,673 new cases with 53 deaths.
The current count of patients in hospitals across the state is at 2,035 patients, which is up 53 from Monday.
Edwards blamed the latest rise in cases to informal social gatherings and advised residents not to spend time with those outside of their households unless it was absolutely necessary.
"We have no doubt the numbers are a result of people's actions during the holiday period: Christmas and New Year's," Edwards said. "Mitigation measures do work but only to the extent of which people follow them. Large social gathering are the still the culprit."
Edwards added that mitigation measures are important and should be adhered to as much as possible.
Edwards mentioned that Louisianans should work to connect with people in a different way including Zoom or phone calls, social distancing, grocery and food deliveries.
He said it was especially important to those most susceptible to COVID-19 should be careful.
"If you want to patronize your favorite restaurant please do so, but pick it up and eat at home or have it delivered," he said.
The CDC announced on Tuesday that it is changing recommendations on who receives the vaccine now. However, the state is still looking closely to whether they will be changing its priority groups.
Edwards says that right now they are focusing on high priority groups, those most vulnerable to the virus, and have many still needing to be vaccinated.
Edwards said that 159,690 vaccinations have been done so far in the state with 21,692 patients given their second dose.
The governor said that the vaccine is being administered in every state with 210 sites that are now open and administering the vaccine to those currently eligible.
The governor says that they cannot say whether the same sites will have the vaccine next week as next week's allocation has not been given.
The state is making certain that those who received a vaccine at a certain site will be able to return to that location on the date they are given to receive their second dose.
Phase 1-B Tier one can make appointments to get the vaccine. Those are people 70 years or older and other medical professionals who were not covered in the first phase. Vaccines are still only provided by appointment only.
LDH says that around 228 doses have been lost due to preservation issues in the state.
According to the governor, LDH have also reported their first severe reaction to the vaccine. The person took the vaccine, had gastrointestinal problems and was dizzy. They were hospitalized, treated and then released. The severe reaction was reported to the CDC.
For this week, 28,275 Pfizer vaccines and 27,500 Moderna with 18,700 to long-term care facilities were provided to the state.
Dr. Joseph Kanter, the interim assistant secretary of the Office of Public Health, said that there is not a lot of vaccine but they are gearing up for larger vaccine events when more vaccine is available to residents.
Nothing has been posted for next week's allotment.
The governor’s new order expires on Feb. 10, 2021, and can be read here.
Data presented during Tuesday's briefing related to Louisiana’s third surge can be read here.
According to the governor's office, Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions include the following:
- All Louisianans are encouraged to avoid gatherings of individuals not part of their households.
- All businesses, private and public sectors, should have as many employees work from home as they can.
- All restaurants are limited to 50% of their indoor capacity. Restaurants should move as much dining outdoors as they can. Social distancing is required.
- For bars in parishes above 5% positivity, bars are closed to indoor sales and consumption but open for outdoor consumption at tables only and at 25% capacity, with a maximum of 50 people. Social distancing is required. Take-out and delivery will still be available.
- Retail businesses may open at 50% capacity, except for essential businesses, as defined by federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
- Gyms may be open at 50% of their capacity.
- Places of worship will remain at a maximum of 75% of their capacity or the number of people who can physically distance with at least six feet between each immediate household, whichever is less.
- Barber and beauty shops, and nail salons may open at 50% of their capacity.
- Movie theaters may open at 50% of their capacity.
- Indoor gatherings at event/receptions centers are limited to 25% capacity or up to 75 individuals.
- Outdoor gatherings at event/reception centers are limited to 25% capacity or up to 150 individuals when strict physical distancing is not possible.
- All sporting events will be capped at 25% capacity.
You can watch the full briefing from Tuesday below:
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