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LOUISIANA CAUTIOUSLY ENTERS PHASE 1 OF REOPENING

LOUISIANA CAUTIOUSLY ENTERS PHASE 1 OF REOPENING

LOUISIANA CAUTIOUSLY ENTERS PHASE 1 OF REOPENING

Louisiana is slowly reopening its businesses in an effort to start rebuilding the economy. On Friday, May 15 Phase 1 of reopening began. The official order from Governor John Bel Edwards states that the state of Louisiana is still in a “public health emergency” and advises citizens to stay home as much as possible to avoid exposure to the virus. The order still advises avoiding groups and respecting social distancing guidelines. Owners and employees of businesses are required to wear masks if their jobs involve public contact.

The Governor’s order clearly states which businesses in the state may reopen, and directs those businesses to maintain a strict policy of 25 percent occupancy. Here in our region, the Mall of Louisiana and Tanger Outlets both reopened after being shuttered for two full months. Click here to see a full list of stores that are open in the Mall of Louisiana. More than two dozen stores in the mall are offering curbside pickup. Tanger Outlets also requires all employees who interact with the public to wear masks. Click here to see a list of stores open at Tanger Outlets.

On Friday, Governor Bel Edwards said he is looking for an early June start for Phase 2 of reopening the state. Phase 2 advises vulnerable individuals to continue to stay home  and encourages employers to have employees tele-work whenever possible. Both Phase 1 and 2 are following the official White House guidelines for reopening.

The state is closely monitoring the incidence of new cases of COVID-19 to ensure that the reopening of Louisiana moves at an appropriate pace. The White House guidelines require two weeks of declining numbers of new cases, people with symptoms and hospitalizations, as well as boosted testing and contact tracing capacity. So far, Louisiana is keeping up and in some cases surpassing the guidelines.

The good news for Baton Rouge is that on May 21 East Baton Rouge Parish reported no new Corona virus deaths for the first time in two months. Meanwhile, two CVS Pharmacies in Baton Rouge have opened drive-through virus testing. They are CVS Pharmacy, 5360 Highland Road, and CVS Pharmacy, 7777 Bluebonnet Boulevard.

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