Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed an order that extends Phase Two and the statewide mask mandate, closure of bars to on-site consumption and gathering size limits in Louisiana for another two weeks, until September 11. The White House Coronavirus Task Force still has Louisiana in the red zone for new cases, just as schools and colleges return to campus and Hurricane Laura is set to impact the state. Further, almost half of the state’s parishes have positivity rates in excess of 10 percent. The Governor’s current order expires on Friday, August 28. He signed the new order yesterday.
Edwards said while the state had seen drops in hospitalizations and new COVID-19 cases, he also knows there are more people moving around because of schools and colleges going back to in-person classes, which is one of the reasons we will stay in Phase 2 for another two weeks. He added that Hurricane Laura caused Louisiana to pause its testing, which means the state will be flying blind with data for a couple of weeks when data is needed most to gauge the impact of resuming K-12 schools and higher education.