Could Louisiana Return to Phase 1 or Be Under a ‘Stay at Home’ Order?
On March 13th 2020, Louisiana entered Phase 1 of COVID-19 restrictions. Today is November 23rd and there's a good chance that the state could be going back. According to all the medical experts, Louisiana (and most of the country) is facing a 'third wave' of coronavirus cases.
The Louisiana Department of Health reported more than 3,085 new cases and 27 more deaths Sunday. According to the Governor and health officials, these numbers are alarmingly high and close to what the state was reported back in May during what was then considered the peak of the virus.
So, the big question now is what's next? Many residents and lawmakers are opposed to returning to Phase 1 restrictions or to a 'Stay at Home' order. Arguably, residents and lawmakers are opposed to any kind additional restrictions. However, the Governor and White House both are sounding the alarm, saying that Louisiana is in a precarious position.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force is urging the state to increase COVID restrictions. Meanwhile, Governor John Bel Edwards has said numerous times that he doesn't want to go backwards restrictions wise, but will if needed. Edwards says that a Stay at Home order is not currently on the table, but additional (currently unknown) restrictions are.
However, in the past, the Governor has said that he doesn't want to take a step back, but ultimately did. (In June, the state changed their Phase 2 plan to re-close bars and add restrictions to other businesses, some of which have remained in place to today).
Although, this time, the Governor is facing unique pressure. While he and the White House want additional restrictions, state lawmakers are fed up with the Governor and his mandates. In fact, the House took legal action to eliminate the Governor's COVID restrictions. That legal move was thrown out on a technicality, but if the Governor pushes too hard, both house could re-new their efforts and take the Governor back to court.
What will ultimately happen remains to be seen. Could businesses be forced to close for the holiday shopping season? Could we be forced to stay at home for the holidays? Could new fines and penalties be put in place to discourage leaving your house or not wearing a mask? Only time will tell, but unless there is a drastic change, more restrictions are coming. It's just unknown what they'll be at this time.