How St. Tammany Plans to Reopen After Shelter-In-Place Orders Are Lifted

The country is still reeling from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic that has spread throughout the world. Fortunately, in many states across the country, the cases of the virus are beginning to decline. Parish President Mike Cooper has announced his plans on how St. Tammany will reopen commerce. St. Tammany will slowly restore shopping, working and other activities “based on two-week intervals of continued decline in cases of coronavirus.”

Gov. John Bel Edwards has the state under a shelter-in-place order until May 15, 2020. Governor Edwards will allow certain elective surgeries, outside seating at restaurants and some non-essential retail businesses to open as long as there are only 10 people present this Friday. Cooper, who appointed an advisory council last month, has been working with the advisory council to develop a plan for reopening.

The St. Tammany parish’s “reopening plan” consists of four phases. The first phase will be the opening of movie theaters, sit-down dining, sporting venues and places of worship but there will be required social distancing and sanitation requirements. Next will be exercise facilities and bars but patrons will have strict social distancing and sanitation protocols. Close-contact services such as hair, nail and tanning salons, barbershops and massage studios will be a part of the final phase as well as visits to hospitals and senior care facilities.

The advisory board developed the plan alongside the recommendations made by the White House. The Governer will revisit the plan if cases trend upward again. If this happens, the plan phases will possibly be delayed, and restrictions might have to be implemented again. If the federal or state governments change any restrictions or policies, this can also affect the subsequent phases.

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