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Louisiana moving forward with reopening as numbers grow in state’s northeast

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Louisiana moving forward with reopening plans as numbers grow in northeast portion of the state.

The state of Louisiana has 41,562 cases of COVID-19 reported as of noon Thursday. It is presumed that 31,728 have recovered. The state has seen 2,772 deaths from the virus, and more than 400,000 people have been tested by state and private labs.

The state is divided into nine areas. The area to Vicksburg’s immediate west falls into region 8, which has seen a significant case increase over the past 30 days. On May 3, Madison Parish had eight cases. As of June 4, the parish has 116 cases. East Carroll has jumped to 179. Franklin Parish is at 378 cases, while Ouachita is currently at 1,376. Ouachita Parish’s case count has been relatively high throughout the pandemic.

Louisiana has ramped up mobile testing in the entire state with drive-thru testing available in every parish.

Louisiana moves into phase 2 of its recovery period Friday, June 5. Phase 1, which began May 15, allowed 25% occupancy for businesses allowed to reopen.

Under phase 2, businesses that will be able to open at 50% occupancy include:

  • Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops
  • Shopping malls (including food courts, following restaurant guidance)
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Barber and beauty shops and nail salons
  • Movie theaters
  • Racetracks (not open to spectators)
  • Museums (including children’s museums), zoos, aquariums (no tactile exhibits)
  • Bars and breweries with LDH food permits
  • Massage establishments, spas and tattoo establishments (under strict guidance from LDH), aesthetician services (under strict guidance from the Cosmetology Board)
  • Pool halls, bowling alleys and skating rinks (children must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Event centers and wedding venues
  • Outdoor playgrounds and play centers (children must be accompanied by an adult)

Casinos and video poker establishments may open at 50% occupancy, but limited to 75% of their gaming positions, with spacing to allow for social distancing and with enhanced sanitation. Plans must be submitted to the Gaming Control Board which will issue guidance to these facilities.

Bars and breweries that do not have LDH food permits will be able to open with strict social distancing requirements and patrons seated at 25% occupancy.

Arcades and trampoline parks may open under approved plans by the State Fire Marshal, with minors accompanied by parents.

Summer camps were allowed to open with restrictions in Phase One, and additional guidance will be issued. Sleep-away camps are not allowed in Phase Two.

The following businesses remain closed: carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, fairs, contact sports, children’s indoor play centers, theme parks, concert and music halls, and other similar businesses. Live entertainment is not permitted inside any building or indoor function.

The governor encourages businesses that can allow employees to work remotely to consider doing so, especially if an employee is at high risk for becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 or shares a household with a high-risk person.

For more information:

  • Business and faith leaders can visit la.gov to receive guidance and updates from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Health. Businesses that require approval of reopening plans will be notified by the State Fire Marshal’s Office or the Louisiana Department of Health.
  • For a guide listing businesses that can be open at any given time, visit louisiana.gov/page/can-this-business-open.
  • Members of the public can continue to get information from the Governor’s office by visiting la.gov and by texting LACOVID to 67283.
  • Members of the public can continue to get information from the Department of Health by visiting la.gov/coronavirus.
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