Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Louisiana is returning to Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 economic restrictions. In addition to ordering many bars across the state to close and sending most businesses back to 50 percent occupancy through the end of the year, Gov. Edwards also limited gatherings to 75 indoors and 150 outdoors.

Additionally, restaurants, retailers and other businesses will move from 75 percent to 50 percent occupancy. The new restrictions go into effect Wednesday, as families make preparations for their Thanksgiving holiday festivities. Following the announcement, Pelican CEO Daniel Erspamer released the following statement.

“Lost jobs and livelihoods weren’t on any Louisianans’ Christmas lists this year. Today’s decision by the governor will make matters worse for Louisiana families who have been suffering for months on end. From food and housing insecurity to long-term mental and physical health challenges, shutting down the economy has real and lasting consequences that go beyond lost paychecks.

Everyone wants to protect our most vulnerable citizens but reverting to blunt instrument lockdown policies that have dire unintended consequences is unwise and disappointing. We can solve these dual crises together, but once again locking down the lives and livelihoods of Louisiana families is not the answer.”