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Louisiana to remain in Phase 2 for two more weeks

Governor John Bel Edwards said that a surge in cases means that the state will not move forward into Phase 3 of reopening.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana will stay in Phase 2 of coronavirus recovery for at least two more weeks, Governor John Bel Edwards said Tuesday afternoon.

The governor cited an increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, the last two categories that are at the highest number since May, in extending the order to at least August 7. The order had been slated to expire Friday. 

"There is still a lot of COVID-19 in Louisiana," he said at the press briefing.

On June 25, Edwards had ordered an 28-day extension to Phase 2 of reopening amid what he described as a "steady uptick" in new positive cases.

Two weeks ago he issued a mandate for mask usage in businesses and the closure of bars to in-person customers. 

Since late June, new cases and hospitalizations have surged. Louisiana has reported an additional 41,477 new cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled as of Monday, July 21. 

Another 411 people have died since June 25, bringing the total number of people in Louisiana killed by the disease to 3,462.

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