JBE coronavirus (copy)

Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks in a press conference on Wednesday, March 11.

Louisiana will extend Phase 2 of the reopening process for another 28 days, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced in a press conference Monday. 

Edwards said Louisiana is among the 23 states where caseloads are increasing. Most of the other states are also located in the south, debunking the theory that heat limits the spread of the virus. 

As of Monday, Louisiana exceeded 50,000 cases and 3,000 deaths. 

"It is clear we now have COVID-19 across the state of Louisiana and it is mostly community spread," Edwards said. "It goes without saying this is not the direction we want to be going with." 

Recent outbreaks were connected to New Orleans graduation parties and Baton Rouge bars. Edwards advised young Louisiana residents to remain vigilant about social distancing policies, and said that as few as 10 people may be responsible for 80% of cases. 

"It only takes a few careless people to change the course of our trajectory," Edwards said. "That is more true than you might believe."

Phase 2 began June 5 and allows businesses such as gyms, hair salons, massage parlors and movie theaters to reopen to 50% capacity. Bars and breweries without food permits are authorized to hold 25% occupancy. 

Businesses such as water parks, theme parks, children's indoor play centers, arcades and musical halls are not permitted to reopen. Live entertainment is also not permitted at any indoor function. 

"There are a lot of people out there saying they are done with this virus," Edwards said. "Well, the virus isn't done with us." 

Load comments