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Today, Governor John Bel Edwards has extended Phase 2 for two more weeks. The Governor's original Phase 2 order was set to expire on Friday. The Governor said during this afternoon's press conference, that with hospitalizations increasing statewide, it would be impossible to move into Phase 3. The extension will last at least until August 7th. The Governor also noted that as far as infection rates per capita go, Louisiana is second in the nation. Second to only New York state.

However, with the Governor considering stricter mandates, the fact we didn't move back to Phase 1 is a good sign. The Governor and his staff says that hopefully, within the next week or so, we'll start seeing numbers decline due to the Governor's mask mandate and closing of hot spots like bars.

While the Governor was adamant that he is still greatly concerned with the community spread of COVID-19 and rising hospitalizations, he is extremely hopeful that the current preventative measures will cause case spread to slow and even drop.

The Governor also noted that there is a large backlog of cases and while he's not expecting good news, he's being optimistic. He also said that after talking to the White House task force, he may be able to levy more restrictions without necessarily going all the way back to Phase 1 or Phase Zero. However, he said numerous times that hopefully with masks being mandatory the curve can be re-flattened and no additional restrictions will be needed.

You can watch the Governor's full press conference below:

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