Data News Staff Edited Report
As many anticipated the state fully re-opening at some point, Louisiana will remain under the Phase 2 for another month after Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the state will not move on to Phase 3 on June 26.
“Louisiana reached two sad milestones today as we surpassed 3,000 deaths and 50,000 positive tests in our state,” Gov. Edwards said. “Each of these Louisianans is someone’s child, sibling, parent or friend, and we mourn every one of these losses. It is clear that COVID is alive and well in Louisiana, and as we see more people testing positive and admitted to hospitals, we simply are not ready to move to the next phase, and ease restrictions further as businesses open widely.”
The second phase of reopening, which began on June 5, was expected to last a minimum of 21 days, which would have made June 26 the earliest opening date under the order Edwards signed earlier this month. The 28-day extension stretches the next proposed relaxing of restrictions until at least July 20.
In announcing the delay in moving to Phase 3, Edwards placed the blame on a lack of social distancing, masking and other restrictions that had been in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“We have seen the number of COVID cases and related hospitalizations increase across the state over the last number of days,” Edwards said. “If we were doing a better job as a state collectively of adhering to those mitigation measures we would not be seeing the case growth we’re seeing today.”
In his statement Gov. Edwards also stated,
“Many of you are doing the right thing and I thank you for it,” Edwards said. “It’s incredibly disappointing to hear that there are still some people who refuse to wear masks in public, which puts all of us at greater risk of becoming sick.”