The governor will allow Louisiana’s COVID-19 public health emergency order to expire after two years
The governor will allow Louisiana’s COVID-19 public health emergency order to expire after two years

The governor will allow Louisiana’s COVID-19 public health emergency order to expire after two years

Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday he will allow an order he signed two years ago declaring a public health emergency in Louisiana for coronavirus to expire on Wednesday. His comments came during his State of the State speech to the Legislative Assembly on the opening day of its Ordinary Session in 2022.

Edwards said he made the decision not to renew after consulting with state health officials, the Louisiana National Guard and people in his administration to ensure there would be no consequences for federal COVID-19 assistance if he chose not to renew the emergency order.

“Just because the proclamation expires does not mean COVID is over,” Edwards said. “If circumstances so require, I will not hesitate to declare another emergency. But if God wills, we will never have to see such difficult mitigating measures in our state again. I do not know what the future holds, but I know we are a much better place today than we were two years ago. ”

The public health emergency formed the basis of social distancing and mask requirements during the pandemic. During sections with increases in the case of COVID-19, the order also set access and capacity limits for companies and other venues.

Since March 2020, nearly 17,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Louisiana, and more than 1.23 million cases have been registered, according to Louisiana Department of Health data.

The US Centers for Disease Control has classified most Louisiana parishes as having a moderate to low risk of community spread of the virus. Only Cameron, East Carroll, West Carroll and Winn parishes are at high risk and 24 parishes are at significant risk.

Across the country, 2.4% of COVID-19 tests reported to the Department of Health returned positive from February 24 to March 2.

“This pandemic is certainly not over, and our collective work remains unfinished, but I believe there are better days ahead,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter in a statement from the governor’s office. “Covid-19 vaccines have saved countless lives – and they, therapy and a deeper understanding of this virus strengthen us.”

As of this week, 52% of Louisiana residents eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine have received the entire series, and 60.5% have received at least one dose.

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