Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is moving the state into "Phase 3."

The governor opened up his press conference by saying Louisiana has been going in "the right direction" for weeks with just about every metric looking better than our worst point of the coronavirus pandemic back on January 8.

From positivity rate to case growth in relation to COVID-19, numbers are down to a third of what we saw back in early January. Because of this, Gov. Edwards announced that Louisiana would be moving into Phase 3.

Phase 3 will allow most businesses to move to a 75% capacity, while gyms stay at 50% based on data from the CDC.

Bars will be allowed to open indoors at 25% and if their parish goes below 5% their capacity could increase to 50%.

Live music will be allowed (indoors included) with guidance from the state fire marshall. Although capacities will increase for bars they will still be required to close at 11 p.m.

Gov. Edwards also announced that the statewide mask mandate will remain in place as Louisiana moves into Phase 3.

The governor did mention that while deaths are down, they are still "way too high" and encouraged people to continue following restrictions so that numbers continue to trend in the right direction. Edwards mentioned the U.K. variant of COVID-19 is expected to become the predominant strain in Louisiana and the rest of the U.S. by mid-March.

Gov. Edwards' current "modified Phase 2" order expires tomorrow (March 3) when the new proclamation will remain in place until March 31, 2021.

See video of the governor's announcement below.

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