We’ll Stay In Phase Two Through Mid-January

From The Center Square

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday said he would not change any of the regulations currently in place to control the spread of COVID-19, keeping the state in a modified version of “Phase 2” of the White House-approved mandates through January 13.

The staged rollout of COVID-19 vaccines brings hope that the pandemic will end at some point next year. But Louisiana remains in a precarious situation as the death toll and number of people who are hospitalized continues to climb, officials said while urging residents not to hold large holiday gatherings with people from different households.

“We’re too close to the finish line to make mistakes now, mistakes that are permanent and can’t be undone,” Edwards said.

Restaurants, gyms, barbers, salons, theaters and most retail businesses will continue to be limited to half of their normal indoor capacity. Places of worship will remain at a maximum of 75 percent of their capacity or the number of people who can physically distance with at least six feet between each immediate household.

For bars in parishes where the positivity rate (the proportion of COVID-19 tests that come back positive) is above 5 percent, barrooms are closed to indoor sales and consumption but can still serve up to 50 people outside. Indoor gatherings at event centers and sporting events are limited to 25 percent capacity, while outdoor gatherings where maintaining physical distance is not possible are limited to 25% capacity or up to 150 individuals.