Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today that he will extend his Phase Two order, including the statewide mask mandate, closure of bars to on-site consumption and crowd size limits of no more than 50 people for at least another 21 days.
In this Q&A blog series, our regional public health leaders will be answering the same questions, and together they will paint a statewide perspective of the COVID-19 pandemic and the response in their communities. Jeff Toms is the Regional Administrator for Region 8, which includes the parishes of Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Lincoln, Jackson, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union and West Carroll.
"Personally, I am seeing a decline in both the wearing of masks and in practicing social distancing. It seems there was a drop in following these public health recommendations as restrictions were eased and people began to go out in public," Toms writes of northeast Louisiana.
Today, as Louisiana surpassed 100,000 known COVID-19 cases, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a renewal of the current proclamation extending Phase Two in the state, which includes the statewide mask mandate and additional restrictions, until August 7.
"In our region, it remains a challenge to really understand the current situation - that the virus is still around and it is still dangerous," Dr. Whyte writes about northwestern Louisiana. "How do we get people to act on this information and do the right thing when they are so anxious to get out of the house and resume their normal activities?"