Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday signed a proclamation extending Louisiana’s modified Phase 2 guidelines, which include sensible restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 like a statewide mask mandate, for another 21 days. The new order is set to expire on March 3, 2021.
Hospitalizations and test positivity have improved in Louisiana, but cases are still very high and more people are in the hospital today than were last summer. January was the second deadliest month of the pandemic in Louisiana and, with Mardi Gras next week, Louisiana cannot afford to relax restrictions. Last year, before public health officials were warning against cancelling large events, COVID-19 was spread during Mardi Gras celebrations, leading to many cases and deaths in the New Orleans region.
“Our conduct should not change in the foreseeable future,” Gov. Edwards said. “Please, be very smart and very courteous about how you act and please wear your mask, distance, wash your hands frequently, stay home when you are sick, protect the vulnerable and, when you are able to do so, get vaccinated.”
Businesses are also encouraged to have as many workers as they can work remotely, as COVID is a major concern in Louisiana, especially as new variants have spread throughout the country, one of which has been confirmed in the state. The Governor also warned people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 already to continue to wear their masks and practice the other mitigation measures to protect those around them who have not yet received the vaccine.
Gov. Edwards announced his decision Tuesday afternoon at a vaccine event in Louisiana and signed the extension of the modified Phase 2 order on Wednesday.
Louisiana’s COVID-19 restrictions include the below:
Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate is still in place. For complete guidance on the new Phase 2, visit the Open Safely portal at opensafely.la.gov.