Gov Edwards to decide on Phase 2 process
Even as Governor John Bel Edwards and state health officials cautiously steer residents through Phase 1 of the reopening process, they're likely also thinking ahead to when and how Louisiana should navigate its way through Phase 2.
Since the COVID-19 health crisis crept into the state by way of an alarming series of outbreaks in early March, Governor Edwards has shouldered the responsibility of deciding when the state should shut down and eventually, reopen.
After consulting with health officials, he announced May 15 as the start of Phase 1.
It's been five days since Louisiana entered Phase 1 and state officials say over 26,000 COVID-19 patients in the state have recovered, while another 34,709 are still being treated.
Understandably, at this point it remains to be seen how long Phase 1 will last.
Once Governor Edwards and state health officials decide Louisiana is ready to enter the second Phase, residents and leaders will follow guidelines detailed by the White House.
The guidelines are principles designed to help each state reopen as safely as possible.
A brief overview of Phase 2 guidelines can be found below:
Guidelines for Individuals
All vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.
All individuals, when in public (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 50 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.
Non-essential travel can resume.
Guidelines for Employers
Continue to encourage telework, whenever possible and feasible with business operations.
Close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce moderate social distancing protocols.
Strongly consider special accommodations for personnel who are members of a vulnerable population.
Guidelines for Specific Types of Employers
Schools and organized youth activities (e.g., daycare, camp) can reopen.
Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals should be prohibited. Those who do interact with residents and patients must adhere to strict protocols regarding hygiene.
Large Venues (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under moderate physical distancing protocols.
Elective surgeries can resume, as clinically appropriate, on an outpatient and in-patient basis at facilities that adhere to CMS guidelines.
Gyms can remain open if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.
Bars may operate with diminished standing-room occupancy, where applicable and appropriate.
Click here for more information from the White House on the reopening process.