On this Labor Day, Governor John Bel Edwards implores citizens of the state to remain diligent when it comes to social distancing so the state will continue to see a decline in COVID-19 cases numbers. In the past, two weeks after holiday gatherings the state has seen a spike in cases.

“But large social gatherings really should not happen. Make sure that you have your mask on when you’re interacting with anyone outside your immediate household and that you stay at least six feet away from them,” says Edwards.

“I will just flat out tell you when my son comes home, he’s got a mask on in my living room and we sit a distance from him with our masks on and I’m encouraging everyone to do that,” says Edwards, whose son is a college freshman. College students also fall into the age group with the highest growing number of COVID-19 case numbers.

Edwards says while traditionally many choose to cookout with family and friends for Labor Day he wants to remind everyone to protect those who are most vulnerable like those over the age of 65 and “if you have a comorbid health condition like hypertension, diabetes, kidney diseases, heart disease or some respiratory ailment, you are more vulnerable than others and we need to be more mindful of that.”

New Orleans officials are expressing concerns about large crowds in New Orleans over the Labor Day weekend. City officials warned Sunday that the activity could cause a spike in coronavirus cases and that businesses violating rules will face citations.

City officials said on Friday and Saturday that they had had 36 calls about large gatherings and another 46 calls for business non-compliance. The city said code enforcement officers will be performing door-to-door checks to ensure food providers and restaurants are enforcing the guidelines regarding social distancing and facial coverings and the sale of go-cups.

Public health officials say Labor Day gatherings could cause a spike in COVID-19 cases, similar to what happened after Memorial Day and July Fourth celebrations.

(Story written by Brooke Thorington/Louisiana Radio Network and the Associated Press)