BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced that he is extending the Modified Phase-2 COVID recovery order for another three weeks until after the Mardi Gras holiday and for a few weeks after.
Edwards made the announcement as his previous order was set to expire Wednesday.
The governor said that every area of the state remains in the red level for COVID, meaning that it is present at a high level in each of the state's parishes.
He did say that he hoped he could ease some restrictions in three weeks when this new order would end.
Under the Modified Phase-2 order the following is in place:
- 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.
Edwards also received his first vaccination Tuesday.
It comes a day after he expanded access to the shots to include Louisiana government officials involved in pandemic response work.
The 54-year-old Democrat was scheduled to get his vaccination for 3 p.m. at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center campus in Baton Rouge, along with several other state officials who are newly able under Louisiana’s latest eligibility criteria.
The governor is also set to announce the first mass vaccination site in the state in Baton Rouge.
Edwards widened Louisiana residents' access to the coronavirus vaccine Monday. He lowered the eligibility age from 70 to 65 and added officials handling COVID-19 response work and workers for the March 20 election.
The Louisiana Department of Health reported Tuesday that nearly half a million first-dose vaccinations in the state. According to new figures published by LDH on Tuesday, 448,122 people in the state have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
COVID-19 hospitalizations and the average number of new cases has fallen since reaching record peaks in early January. As of Monday, LDH reports that 1,122 COVID-19 positive patients were hospitalized across the state.
In total, 9,162 people have died and 414,354 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Louisiana since the outbreak was first discovered in March 2020.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.