Governor John Bel Edwards Suggests Phase 2 Will Be Extended This Week
Governor John Bel Edwards appeared on a Baton Rouge radio station this morning to talk about the tropical weather Louisiana faces this week, and also to drop a note about the state's COVID-19 reopening.
In the interview with WBRP-FM in Baton Rouge, the Governor said:
"We’ve got to see an extension of the proclamation, exactly what that extension is going to be I don’t know yet"
During the explanation, the Governor inferred that the extension would keep the state in Phase 2 of his reopening plan. While talking about the extension, the Governor said he and his team are looking at a few major issues that will impact that decision. He talked about schools reopening, the possible use of mass transit in hurricane evacuation scenarios, the delay in testing information due to hurricane preparations, and his concerns over the state's current testing levels.
The Governor mentioned that the state's COVID rates are still too high in testing, but the numbers from the Louisiana Department of Health and Johns Hopkins University that have been curated by Nola.com show that the state's COVID positivity rate has remained below 10% on a 7-day rolling average everyday since July 25th. That 10% mark is the number the White House Coronavirus Task Force has designated as their number of concern.
If the Governor does extend the Phase 2 order this week, he did not indicate this morning if there will be any modifications to it. He has modified Phase 2 previously to include mask mandates and closures on bars. The Governor also did not indicate what time frame he would be considering for an extension, meaning it could be anywhere from 2 weeks to 20 weeks.