As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to wind down, many are looking for Louisiana's "exit plan". Maybe it's not an "exit plan" as much as a reopening plan.

Governor John Bel Edwards has been peppered with questions about the plan to reopen the state over the last few weeks. The Governor and State Officials have been working to come up with a plan for the state, which sounds like it will have a lot of similarities to the plan put forward by the White House and CDC. That plan includes a phased approach where businesses and individuals can start to reopen the country, and state, little by little.

The timeline put forward in the White House plan is a 14-day period per phase. Which would indicate the whole three phase program could be completed in as little as 6 weeks.

However when we asked Dr. Martha Whyte, the Director for Region 7 of The Louisiana Department of Health, she indicated that the phases may be given more time. She said that Governor Edwards is currently evaluating the phased program, and how it fits with Louisiana. This would fit with the President's instructions for each state to use the guidelines in a way that works for them.

We asked Dr. Whyte if the baseline phased plan is "too aggressive" for Louisiana. She said:

"I understand the need to move forward but we are not out of the danger zone. 2nd waves are notoriously worse than 1st waves and I think our Governor is going to be more cautious than the President."

This week, Governor Edwards suggested that he could start Phase One of the plan on May 1st:

"I don't bet very often, but if you made me bet $1 I would bet on May 1 we'd be under a different order than we're under now"

So if the bare minimum to complete the White House's three phases is 6 weeks, and Governor Edwards is planning to be under Phase One by May 1st, here's what that could look like:

Phase One Completed - May 15th
Phase Two Starts - May 16th
Phase Two Completed - May 29th
Phase Three Starts - May 30th
Phase Three Completed - June 13th

Now that's if everything goes according to plan, and there are no spikes or rebounds.

But, the Governor is able to add as much time to each phase as he likes. So he could honestly make each phase a month long. Which would look like this:

Phase One Completed - 31st
Phase Two Starts - June 1st
Phase Two Completed - June 20th
Phase Three Starts - July 1st
Phase Three Completed - July 31st

That would also be if everything went smoothly, with no spikes.

There are middle ground options too. Where the Governor decides each phase lasts for three weeks, which would look like this:

Phase One Completed - May 22nd
Phase Two Starts - May 23rd
Phase Two Completed - June 14th
Phase Three Starts - June 15th
Phase Three Completed - July 7th

That schedule would also be without any setbacks along the way.

But whether its 2 weeks or 1 month per phase, we're starting to get an idea of when we can expect to be back to normal in our state. Even if each phase goes as long as one month, whether that's the plan, or we have some setbacks, we should be settled by the start of August. Which means football should be back into our expectations, until something really bad happens.

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