In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that bars would no longer be allowed to reopen this Friday, July 24, when current restrictions were originally set to expire. Louisiana will instead continue to operate under updated Phase 2 guidelines for an additional two weeks, until at least August 7.
Louisiana’s current order, which went into effect Monday, July 13, re-closed businesses licensed as bars to on-premise consumption (whether or not they have a food permit) and mandated masks statewide. Bars with and without food permits are permitted to offer curbside service, however, which several New Orleans spots have opted to try. Capacity limits of 50 percent for restaurants and casinos remain in place, with the governor saying Tuesday he is not currently considering returning to 25 percent.
Louisiana now ranks second in the country for cases per capita, and hospitalizations per capita are on an upward trajectory “in all regions of the state,” Edwards said Tuesday. Louisiana reported 36 new deaths on Monday — the most the state has reported in a single day since May 28. Currently, 91 percent of new infections are the result of community spread, Edwards also said.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a statement in support of the extended statewide restrictions following Gov. Edwards’s press conference on Tuesday. “None of this is easy, and no one wants to go backward — but public health and public safety must remain our top priority,” she said. “Without a healthy population, there can be no economic recovery. We are all in this together.”
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