Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on the ruling by Judge Robert Summerhays of the U.S. Western District of Louisiana upholding his order closing on-site consumption at bars as Louisiana fights COVID-19. 

“I’m grateful for today’s ruling which supports that my order was the right thing to do for the safety and health of our citizens as we work to slow the spread of this current health crisis,” said Gov. Edwards. “To date, more than 140,000 of our people have contracted the coronavirus and sadly, more than 4,500 people have died as a result of it. This is now the fourth ruling that underscores the importance of the implementation of my COVID-19 orders. From the beginning of this pandemic, I have relied on the public health experts and data to drive all of my decisions.  

“The evidence clearly shows that a significant number of outbreaks in our state have occurred at bars. Further, we know that a significant cause for the surge in cases we saw in June and July was a result of younger people, many of whom were asymptomatic. That is not unique to Louisiana but in fact, has proven to be the case around the country. I understand that this is causing a hardship for bar owners and my decision was not an easy one to make.

“We know that wearing masks and social distancing help slow the spread of the virus. That is why I implemented my mask mandate, restricted bars, and limited social gatherings to no more than 50 people. In addition, everyone needs to practice frequent hand washing and stay home when sick. We are all looking forward to the day when we can gather again and celebrate, but what we do today will determine how soon that can happen.”  

Click here to read the ruling.