BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana will remain in Phase 2 of the coronavirus recovery but for how long is not certain at this time.
Appearing on 107.3 talk radio in Baton Rouge, Governor John Bel Edwards said the order that keeps most businesses at 50 percent capacity, six-feet social distancing, mandatory masks and bars closed will be extended before it expires this Friday, August 28.
"We’ve got to see an extension of the proclamation, exactly what that extension is going to be I don’t know yet," he said but he said that an announcement would be made soon.
Edwards cited four major factors in the decision to extend that included:
- Having the K-12 and college populations returning to campus
- Possibly having to use mass transit to evacuate residents in Hurricane Laura's path and having to use shelters
- Not having the level of information and data they normally do as many of the state's drive-thru testing sites are shuttered this week due to tropical storms
- Despite doing better on key coronavirus numbers, the state is still seeing "more new cases over the last seven days than you want to see per 100,000 population.
"About half of our parishes are still well above 10 percent positivity."
He said he had a call with Dr. Birx from the White House COVID Task Force and that she still had some concerns about the state of coronavirus in Louisiana.
Edwards also said that he is concerned because only hospitals and clinics are testing right now since most of the drive-thru testing has been suspended due to the storms.
"We’re going to be blind this week on data to effect our decisions," he said.