Gov. Edwards lifts stay-at-home order, moves to phase one of reopening


Prakriti Adhikari/The Lion's Roar

Governor John Bel Edwards ordered a stay-at-home order on March 22 that directed residents to limit movement from their houses beyond essential needs. On May 11, Edwards announced the first phase of reopening begining May 15.

Governor John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana will be lifting the stay-at-home order on Friday, May 15 and will be moving to phase one of reopening based on the White House’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. 

After examining downward trends of hospitalizations and new cases per capita in the state and consulting with both state and federal health officials, Edwards felt that it was safe to begin the reopening process. 

Edwards explained that certain businesses such as schools and universities will still remain closed. 

However, businesses such as barbershops, salons, zoos, movie theaters, churches, gyms and fitness centers can open at 25 percent capacity with strict social distancing protocols. Employees will still be required to wear face masks and telework is still strongly encouraged if possible. 

Under phase one of the White House’s guidelines, vulnerable individuals are still urged to stay home and gatherings of more than 10 people where social distancing is impractical is discouraged. 

“We fully expect that they will be cautious, that is why at this time, I feel that it is safe to take this step safe wide,” shared Edwards. “We are aware that for some, the new guidance will not be as simple for some as it will be for others.” 

Edwards urged citizens to continue to comply with the stay-at-home order until it is lifted and encouraged people to remain vigilant. 

On June 4, Edwards hopes to move toward phase two of reopening and will make an announcement regarding Louisiana’s progress towards that goal.