Louisiana will remain in modified phase two COVID-19 restriction plan

Gov. John Bel Edwards held his weekly news conference Tuesday regarding the latest on the COVID-19 surge in the state as well as the vaccination rollout.

Edwards announced that Louisiana will remain in the modified phase two restrictions statewide until February 10th.

According to Edwards, despite the growing number of cases in the state, he believes the phase two restrictions will work if people follow the guidance.

This week, all 64 Louisiana parishes will have limited doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.

A total of 209 vaccine providers across the state will receive the doses.

These 209 providers – including 87 chain pharmacies, 93 independent pharmacies, 20 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and nine health care sites – represent all nine public health regions and 64 parishes of the state, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

Many pharmacies have reported struggles with handling the demand for the limited vaccines.

According to Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health, next week less vaccines are expected so some pharmacies may not get more doses.

Louisiana also reported it’s first serious reaction to the vaccine to the CDC.

According to Kanter, the person who had the reaction is now doing well, but was hospitalized for two days due to GI issued and feeling faint.

Kanter also spoke on the community spread statewide.

According to Kanter, there has never been more COVID-19 in the state than right now. He urged residents to follow coronavirus restrictions strictly due to the amount of community spread in Louisiana.

Gov. Edwards stressed that the coronavirus restrictions in place work so long as people follow them.

He issued a statement on Friday after the largest spike in deaths since the first surge back in March and April.

“These are people’s children and parents and friends and coworkers. They are our neighbors. They are our sisters and brothers. This should weigh heavily on the hearts of all Louisianans every time they leave their homes while COVID is so rampant. During this pandemic, each and every choice we make can have catastrophic impacts on our health and the health of those around us.

“As more people are infected, as our hospitals again reach their capacity, please do what is right – wear your mask, avoid gathering with people outside of your household, stay at home and get tested when you have symptoms, practice social distancing and wash your hands. As of today, nearly 100,000 doses of the COVID vaccine have been administered in Louisiana, which is good news, but the vaccine will not stop this current surge. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it will not matter if we do not get there,” his statement read in part.

REVISED PHASE 2 RESTRICTIONS:

The state is mandating a 25% occupancy rate with social distancing and masks mandated for sporting events.

There can be up to a 50% occupancy rate with social distancing and masks mandated for:

  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Restaurants, coffee shops and cafes
  • Casinos and video poker
  • Non-essential retail

There can be up to a 75% occupancy rate with social distancing and masks mandated for churches and places of worship.

Bars in parishes with a greater than 5% positivity must close to indoor consumption. They can allow outdoor seating up to 50 people, seated and spaced out and masks mandated.

Bars in parishes with 5% or below positivity can allow indoor consumption up to 25% occupancy seated and spaced out. Outdoor consumption is encouraged and masks mandated.

The positivity rate numbers are expected to be released Wednesday. Gov. Edwards is expecting many parishes to cross the 5% positivity rate threshold.

For gathering sizes at event centers, it is limited indoors to 25% occupancy with masks required, up to 75 people.

For outdoor events, limited to 25% occupancy, masks required, up to 150 people where social distancing is not possible.

Schools will remain open.

READ MORE:Louisiana will remain in modified phase two COVID-19 restriction plan

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