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Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards keeps state in Phase 3: Masks 'part of the new normal'

Greg Hilburn
Monroe News-Star
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards conducts a press conference on October 6, 2020.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' new COVID-19 order will keep the state in Phase 3 of reopening with few changes from the current proclamation that expires Friday.

Edwards' statewide mask mandate will remain in place "as part of the new normal," he said Thursday.

The only major change in the order is allowing alcohol to be served at sporting events, which was announced earlier this week.

Edwards' latest proclamation goes into effect Friday and will last 28 days.

He said guidance on fair and festivals will be issued soon and will restrict those events to no more than 500 people at one time.

The new order allows restaurants, salons and other businesses and churches to operate with 75% capacity.

Indoor and outdoor gatherings like wedding parties can operate at 50% capacity up to 250 people. Live music will still not be allowed indoors.

Edwards' new proclamation continues to allow bars to open in parishes with a positivity rate of 5% or below for two straight weeks if a parish government opts in.

Bars that are allowed to open will be limited to 25% indoor capacity up to 50 customers with the same limits for outdoor capacity in parishes that qualify and opt in. Bars will be able to offer seated table-side service only.

The order prohibits patrons 21 or younger from entering bars.

Sports venues must limit the number of fans to 25% capacity.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.