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Louisiana State Fire Marshall Butch Browning says the stricter restrictions in our state are needed to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed with COVID cases.
We are now back to a modified Phase 2 which will be in effect for 28 days.

"The mask mandate is the same mandate we've always had," Browning says, clarifying some confusion about the mask mandate, "And that was for people indoors to wear masks. Now there are some mask mandates...in football stadiums and things of that nature. But the mask mandate really hasn't changed. It's mainly when you're inside. If you can be outside and social distance, the mask mandate does not apply and it never did."

The Governor says most public gatherings will be limited to 75 people indoors and 150 outdoors. Retail stores, restaurants and most other businesses will change to 50% occupancy from 75%.

For sporting events across the state, only 25% capacity will be allowed at games whether indoor or outdoor.

There is no change for churches. They will still be able to have 75% capacity.

The decision on schools is not part of the Governor's plan. Those decisions will be made by each school district. Most colleges in the state will not return to in person classes until after the first of the year, at the earliest.

"Nobody really wants to see these things," Browning says, "But if you look at where we are today...are we're really asking is that people maintain space, wear masks and use mitigation measures. Our hospitalizations have gone up. The hopes are...that these measures will bring a heightened level of awareness...and we will not have overwhelmed hospitals.

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