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Monroe mayor responds to Louisiana moving back to revised Phase 2



MONROE, La. – Local leaders shared their thoughts about Gov. John Bel Edwards’ decision to move the state back to a modified version of Phase 2.

This was the Governor’s message during Tuesday’s press conference when he made the announcement.

“If there was ever a time to step up and be a good neighbor, whether it’s your actual neighbor or not, now is the time,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

This comes after a recent sharp increase in hospitalizations from the virus. The governor’s office says hospitalizations have climbed back up to more than 1,000 people, which is the highest level since August.

“The path ahead right now is dangerous. This is a dangerous time for Louisiana,” Dr. Joe Kanter said.

Changes within the city of Monroe will go into effect Wednesday, Nov. 25. This includes all restaurants, cafes and coffee shops reducing capacity to 50%.

Mayor Friday Ellis said these changes are necessary to ensure public safety.

“I think like most citizens we had to move backwards because of the rising COVID cases in the state of Louisiana, but the only way out of this to move forward is to adhere to these restrictions,” Ellis said.

Bars in parishes above 5% positivity are closed to indoor sales and consumption, but open for outdoor consumption at tables only and at 25% capacity, with a maximum of 50 people. Crowd sizes at public events cannot exceed 25%.

“If we want to help bars get back to where they can operate normally, if we want to help businesses to where they can operate normally, it will take a collective effort,” Ellis said.

As people prepare to travel for the holidays this week, Ellis urged the public to follow mitigation efforts so we can hopefully restore a sense of normalcy sooner than later.

“I understand we want to gather and we all want to get together. It’s who we are. We’re social creatures and there’s a need for connection since we’ve had it lost over the last year, but let’s be responsible about it,” Ellis said.