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Governor: State moving into 'phase 3' Friday, more details tomorrow

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BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards announced the state will move into phase 3 of its reopening plan Friday, but details on what that will look like remain scarce.

During a Thursday morning news conference, the governor said he will introduce the new order to replace the current phase 2 order, which expires Friday. 

Though Louisiana will finally move into phase 3, the governor said he couldn't give specifics on what that order will look like until Friday, the day it goes into effect. One of the biggest lingering questions pertains to bars, which have been shut down during phase 2.

The governor said the statewide mask mandate would stay in effect. In a statement Thursday evening, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said the East Baton Rouge mask mandate will stay in effect until the state fully reopens.

Edwards is expected to lay out phase 3 details during a news conference at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon.

Since the conclusion of the mandatory stay-at-home order, which began on March 22 and ended on April 13, Louisiana has been gradually moving through the reopening process. 

According to instructions detailed by the White House, Phase Three of the reopening process would involve the following measures:

-Vulnerable persons to resume public interactions with physical distancing so as to minimize exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.

-Those who are considered 'low risk' will be encouraged to consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.

-Most employers will be allowed to resume the unrestricted staffing of their job sites.

-Guests will once again be allowed to enter senior care facilities and hospitals, though those who interact with residents and patients must be diligent regarding hygiene.

-Large venues such as sit-down dining restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues, and places of worship will be allowed to operate under limited physical distancing protocols.

-Gyms will be free to remain open as long as they adhere to standard sanitation protocols.

-And, bars can operate with increased standing room occupancy, where applicable.

A more comprehensive list of guidelines for each phase, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is available to read here.


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