World News – US – As virus cases rise, Louisiana governor adds restrictions

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – With Louisiana seeing a fresh surge in coronavirus hospital stays, Gov. . John Bel Edwards tightened restrictions on businesses and gatherings before Thanksgiving Tuesday, fearing the holidays would only worsen the spread of the outbreak.

« Our numbers are not good and they are getting worse everywhere. This is clearly a nationwide increase that requires a coordinated effort nationwide, ”said Edwards.

Democratic governor reduced the number of customers allowed in restaurants, gyms, salons, casinos, malls and other non-essential businesses from 75% to 50%. . The crowds in churches are limited to 75% of their capacity, with a need for distancing between people from different households.

The new rules come into effect on Wednesday and expire in December. 23. The nationwide mask mandate remains.

Most bars are likely limited to takeaway, delivery, and outdoor seating only. This is subject to new restrictions that require parishes to have only a small percentage of coronavirus tests positive to allow drinking in indoor bars.

The crowd at high school football games will shrink to 25%, the same maximum already set for college football games. Indoor gatherings for weddings and events are limited to 75 people or a maximum of 25% occupancy, whichever is lower. Outdoor gatherings have looser boundaries.

The tightened restrictions will come when Louisiana sees its third surge in COVID-19 disease infections caused by the coronavirus. Hospitals warn that they are concerned that the recent surge in cases will overwhelm their facilities.

« The current path is dangerous. This is a dangerous time for Louisiana, ”said Dr. . Joe Kanter, the governor’s chief public health advisor. “We are now in step with the rest of the country. ”

On Tuesday, hospital admissions reached 1 May, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. 052. While this is well below the high of almost 2. 000 is in April, COVID-19 hospital stays are highest since August, up 77% in November alone, according to data.

According to the Ministry of Health, at least 6. 072 people died of the disease in Louisiana.

Edwards’ new coronavirus rules are moving Louisiana from the two-month phase 3 restrictions back to the phase 2 guidelines the governor enacted from June to mid-September. White House coronavirus advisors called on Louisiana to tighten its restrictions as part of the third wave of infections.

The governor hopes that tightened government rules will not only slow the recent outbreak but also impress the urgency of the problem for the people who gather for Thanksgiving. He was repeatedly warned about the usual indoor eating of extended families and friends, saying it could endanger people’s health and lives.

Edwards’ announcement led to a reprimand from Daniel Erspamer, CEO of the conservative Pelican Institute for Public Policy. He said the tightened restrictions “will make matters worse for families in Louisiana who have been suffering for months. ”

« Everyone wants to protect our most vulnerable citizens, but it is unwise and disappointing to revert to blunt guidelines for blocking instruments that have dire unintended consequences, » Erspamer said in a statement.

Louisiana has had two previous coronavirus outbreaks: an outbreak in the New Orleans area in March and April and a nationwide spike in June and July. We saw spikes in all regions of the state this month. The health department has more than 11 in the past week. 000 new infections with COVID-19 disease confirmed.

With a vaccine expected to be available for widespread use within months, Edwards encouraged people not to lose their vigilance just yet.

« We are looking for re-emphasis, attention and compliance for a limited amount of time and I hope this inspires people to do what it takes as they know they don’t have to do it forever » , he said. “But the next few months will be decisive. ”

The state health department has had more than 213 since the pandemic began. 000 confirmed coronavirus cases reported. It is believed that almost 186. 000 people have recovered, but that leaves thousands who have active infections and could spread the virus.

The number of people who have had COVID-19 is expected to be higher than the confirmed number as some people never have symptoms or are never tested.

The health department has another 11. 000 reported likely coronavirus cases detected through antigen testing. These tests provide quick on-site results and are less expensive to perform than the most widely used molecular tests, but the tests are considered less accurate.

Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https: // apnews. com / hub / coronavirus-pandemic and https: // apnews. com / Understand the outbreak. Follow Melinda Deslatte on Twitter at http: // twitter. com / melindadeslatte.

Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, Coronavirus

World News – US – As virus cases rise, Louisiana Governor adds restrictions
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Ref: https://www.sfchronicle.com

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