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Louisiana Moves to Phase 3 COVID Restrictions

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From the Louisiana Governor’s Office, March 2, 2021:

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Following almost six weeks of improvements in Louisiana’s COVID case counts and a sustained decrease in COVID-related hospitalizations, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today that Louisiana will move forward to Phase 3.  This will bring most COVID restrictions back to where they were last September. Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since last July, will remain in place. The Governor’s new order will last for 28 days and will expire March 31, 2021.

Overall, Louisiana’s percent positivity for COVID-19 tests is 5 percent, one third of the positivity rate six weeks ago. The state has completed more than 6 million COVID tests and administered more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

“Since we stepped back into more increased restrictions more than three months ago, the goal has been to slow the spread and avoid overwhelming our hospitals, which we have done thanks to the hard work of many Louisianans,” Gov. Edwards said. “These Phase 3 restrictions will keep some common sense and lifesaving limitations in place while we work to continue keeping the case counts down and administering the vaccines to as many Louisianans as quickly as we can.

“As we are cautiously reducing some of the restrictions related to slowing the spread of COVID, it is even more critical that people take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and those around them. This includes wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, washing their hands frequently, staying home when they are sick or have been exposed and getting the vaccine when it is their turn. The last several weeks have been full of hopeful milestones, including a third COVID vaccine and the state administering more than one million doses. But we also know that COVID variants, which we know are more contagious, are active in Louisiana. In nearly a year of battling this pandemic, we have lost almost 10,000 of our fellow Louisianans, and many people have suffered greatly. It is incumbent upon all of us to do our part to help put this pandemic behind us and save lives.”

The majority of businesses, including restaurants and salons, will be able to move to 75 percent of their capacity and indoor gatherings and event centers will be capped at 50 percent of their capacity but limited to 250 people. Religious services will no longer have capacity limits, social distancing is strongly encouraged and masking will still be required.

Gyms and fitness centers will remain at 50 percent of their capacity, based on recent research from the CDC that raises concern about the spread of COVID-19 in these settings. Bars in all parishes will be able to open for indoor service at 25 percent capacity, not to exceed 250 people, but those in parishes where the percent positivity is 5 percent or lower for two consecutive weeks may have indoor service at 50 percent capacity, not to exceed 250 people. Alcohol sales still must end at 11 p.m. and no one younger than 21 years old can enter a bar.  Patrons must be masked at all times except when consuming food or drink, and they must be served at socially distanced tables.

Live music will be allowed indoors under additional guidance provided by the State Fire Marshal. Indoor gatherings may operate at 50 percent capacity with a cap of 250 people. Outdoor events may operate at 50 percent of their capacity, with no cap on attendance, but six feet of social distancing must be practiced. Conventions, conferences, indoor sporting events and fairs and festivals may operate at up to 50 percent capacity with six feet of social distancing required, if they receive approval from the State Fire Marshal and the Louisiana Department of Health.  Strict masking continues to be required for all gatherings and events.

  • Click here to read the Governor’s new Phase 3 order.
  • Click here to review the data about COVID incidence statewide.
  • Click here to view the new Phase 3 guidance on OpenSafely.la.gov.
As of March 1st, 2021 from the Louisiana Governor Facebook page
Local News Parish News

Parish President Mike Cooper Calls on Citizens to Continue Prevention Practices Through the Mardi Gras Holiday

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

As we head into the Mardi Gras holiday weekend, St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper is relying on each and every St. Tammany resident to take personal responsibility, and heed the advice of medical professionals to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“St. Tammany Parish, like much of Louisiana, is preparing to celebrate the Mardi Gras holiday, albeit in different, more creative ways. We ask each of you to refrain from large gatherings — especially with people from outside of your own household, wear a mask in public, and continue to take precautions.”

President Cooper went on to say, “We are seeing our numbers decline with each passing week. Let’s plan to keep it that way, as we take the necessary precautions during Mardi Gras. Our goals have always been to lessen the burden on our hospitals and healthcare professionals who have worked tirelessly to care for COVID-19 patients for nearly a year, and to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy. With everyone working together, we can achieve these goals and get through this pandemic.”

View President Cooper’s taped message, here.

For daily updates on COVID-19 including daily data for St. Tammany from the Louisiana Department of Health, visit www.stpgov.org/covid19.

Live Music Local Events

Chillin’ at the River – Free Concerts at the Bogue Falaya Park

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Spread out and chill out to some live music – social distancing style.

From Louisiana Northshore:

We’ve all missed live music this year, here in the land where jazz was born and Louisiana music is part of everyday life. To ensure live music could return this fall to the music-loving town, Covington’s Office of Cultural Arts and Events have moved the “Rockin’ the Rails” outdoor concert series from the Covington Trailhead to the open spaces of downtown Covington’s parks.

Now dubbed “Chillin at the River,” the concerts continue every Thursday through November 12th at Bogue Falaya Park, 213 Park Drive in the heart of downtown Covington–just south of historic Christ Episcopal Church on New Hampshire Street. After the concert, be sure to visit Covington’s eclectic shops and award-winning restaurants. 

THE LINEUP:

Oct 15 – The New Orleans Mystics (at Rev. Peter Atkins Park)
Oct 22 – The Iguanas
Oct 29 – John Papa Gros – Tribute to The Night Tripper, Dr. John
Nov 5 – The DAT Band
Nov 12 – Boogie Falaya

Concerts are still 5:00 – 7:30 pm and still free and open to the public. Food or drink sales may not be available; guests are welcome to bring ice chests/picnics/adult beverages if they wish. Parking is free at nearby public parking oxlots and throughout the downtown neighborhoods. Please be sure not to block driveways. 

All concerts are weather permitting. Follow the City of Covingon on Facebook for current info.

The City of Covington Office of Cultural Arts and Events is dedicated to providing residents and visitors with a variety of unique and exciting entertainment options. For more information, contact the City of Covington’s Office of Cultural Arts and Events at (985) 892-1873. Learn more about Covington, Louisiana history here.