By Baptist Message staff
BATON ROUGE, La. (LBM) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday, March 30, the easing of additional restrictions as the state continues moving forward in reopening the economy.
Citing continued positive trends in low COVID-19 cases counts and hospitalizations, Edwards said during a news conference that while the mask mandate will remain in place and social distancing will be required, restaurants, bars, gyms, salons and beauty shops, malls and retail establishments no longer will have occupancy limits once the current proclamation expires on Wednesday, March 31.
Edwards added that capacity for event centers and reception halls will remain at 50 percent, with a maximum size of 500 people. Attendance at sporting events will still be capped at 50 percent.
Also, churches will be allowed to continue to operate at full capacity.
The new proclamation Edwards will sign on Wednesday will remain in effect through April 28.
“Today marks a big step forward,” Edwards said. “But we all are going to have a role today and do have a role to play in making sure that cases don’t spike again.”
The LDH reported 499 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 444,414, and an additional 10 deaths, bringing the total statewide to 10,132.
COVID-19 hospitalizations also remained on a steady decline — down from a peak of more than 2,000 in early January to 363 on Tuesday.
Edwards urged Louisianans to continue wearing masks, adhere to proper social distancing measures and take the vaccine.