NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana has officially moved to phase two of reopening Friday, allowing some additional businesses to reopen and upping the capacity for already-opened shops to 50%.
Gov. John Bel Edwards held a press conference Friday afternoon from the Capitol to give an update on the state's COVID-19 situation as Louisiana moves to phase two.
The state has reached an infection rate under 10% according to Edwards' calculations. That means that less than 10% of the tests conducted in Louisiana are consistently showing COVID-19.
Edwards said the state was new metrics are promising and said they were under international standards for determining the severity of coronavirus outbreaks across the globe.
He urged protestors to be mindful of social distancing and to keep masks on over the weekend.
As part of phase two, businesses and establishments that have been operating at 25% capacity will be able to expand capacity to 50%. That includes restaurants, churches, salons, gyms, museums and casinos.
Playgrounds and bars have been reopened, with bars under a 25% occupancy cap.
This proclamation will be in place for 21 days. Then, just like in Phase One, the situation will be reassessed before making any more decisions about moving to phase three.
New Orleans will not be following the state's reopening plan, instead relying on a slower rollout that gives more time for post-phase one data to come in. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city would not enter phase two for at least a week after the state's restrictions loosened.
COVID-19 has a 14-day incubation period, and some experts have warned that any spikes in cases or deaths would be delayed by several weeks after phase one began.
Louisiana started phase one of reopening May 15, but has not seen a significant increase in confirmed cases since then.
What CAN reopen under Phase 2 guidelines:
- All businesses and organizations currently at 25% capacity can expand to 50%
- Casinos and video poker establishments may expand operations to 50% and 75% of gaming positions
- Massage establishments, tattoo parlors and esthetic services may operate at 50% capacity
- Bowling alleys, skating rinks, pool halls may resume operation at 50% capacity
- Bars that do not hold food service certificate can reopen at 25% capacity
- Arcades and children’s museums can reopen at 50% capacity
- Outdoor playgrounds and play centers may resume operation
What is still CLOSED:
- Nursing homes are closed to visitation
- Concert venues
- Music Halls
- Amusement parks
- Water Parks
- Indoor child play centers
- Theme Parks