Bars in Iberville Parish look to reopen this weekend as coronavirus cases trend downward
PLAQUEMINE - The rate of infections are low enough in Iberville Parish that officials say bars will be back open just in time to watch LSU'S first home game. But for most other parishes, going to bars still isn't an option.
Cheri Jones is a manager at Beer Belly's. She says it's the first time in months since bars have been able to open their doors, and it hasn't been easy.
"This is our livelihood. It's not just a part-time job. And when your income gets cut, it's a struggle," she said.
In order for bars to reopen under current phase 3 guidelines, a parish must have a COVID-19 positivity rate no higher than five percent for two consecutive weeks. There's also some guidelines the owners must follow.
- Indoor capacity is limited to 25 percent or 50 people, whichever is less.
- No more than 50 people should be outdoors and only for table-side service.
- No live music is allowed
- Alcohol sales must end at 11 p.m.
- Bars are to close no later than 11 p.m.
Even with the restrictions, it's a win for owner Jerry Bonner.
"I got 10 employees who depend on this place, so it's good to be open."
According to state data, Iberville is the only parish neighboring East Baton Rouge that has kept its rate at or below the five-percent requirement for consecutive weeks through September.
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