Louisiana News

Louisiana scaling back business restrictions meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19

(The Center Square) – Louisiana will move into the first phase of the White House-approved process to begin lifting some business restrictions Friday meant to control the spread of COVID-19, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Monday.
The current “stay-at-home” order, which closes some types of businesses and limits many others, expires Thursday.
Under the new order, some businesses, such as massage and tattoo parlors, amusement parks, and bars that don’t serve food are to remain closed. But other types of businesses can reopen at 25 percent of their usual capacity to allow for six feet between individuals and 10 feet between tables.
Employees who deal with the public will be required to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose. Business owners can sign up for details at OpenSafely.la.gov, but they are not required to seek government approval for their reopening plans.
“I believe we are striking the right balance with this plan,” Edwards said, referring to public health and economic recovery.
According to state health officials, at least 2,242 Louisiana residents have been killed by COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Officials also list 66 “probable deaths.”
Almost 32,000 cases have been confirmed, and more than 22,600 of those patients were presumed to have recovered. Officials said 1,310 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals and 157 of those were on ventilators.
“Governor Edwards’ announcement that businesses can begin to reopen starting Friday is going to ease the financial pressure on small business owners, but many of our members are worried they won’t make it unless they can fully reopen soon,” Dawn Starns, who directs the Louisiana chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, said. “NFIB is committed to working with the governor’s Resilient Task Force and the Legislature’s Economic Recovery Task Force to develop a strategy that allows more businesses to begin to reopen and while keeping customers and employees safe and avoiding a spike in new coronavirus cases.”
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