|NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana has been in phase two for almost three months in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. However, Jefferson Parish council members say, since June, positive COVID-19 cases have been under 10% of the tests taken. That’s why- on a 7 to 0 vote- Parish Council requested Governor John Bel Edwards to provide criteria to how Jefferson Parish can move into phase three.|
“Besides the fact that we’re one of the largest economic engines for the state of Louisiana, we were always told, the purpose of the restriction was to prevent our hospitals from becoming overtaxed and not having enough available hospital beds and we don’t have that problem now,” Councilman for Jefferson Parish District 2, Deano Bonano explained.
Bonano says the Parish Council is also asking Edwards for guidelines in phase three.
“Bars would be allowed to open at a limited capacity,” Bonano said. “Movie theaters would be allowed to open at a limited capacity. Many, many people have reached out to me in the last month and expressed how close they are to permanent bankruptcy.”
“It is at least, and I am not exaggerating, 80% down,” Jefferson Parish business owner, Maria Stefanias told WGNO. “I hope we do go into phase three. We can get some tables back in here, get more people coming in and it will help the economy greatly.”
The ultimate goal is to safely but swiftly get Jefferson Parish businesses back to normal as Bonano says, livelihoods are at stake.
“The financial future of the employees who have to be able to pay their mortgages, pay their kids school expenses and everything else! That’s all at risk now,” Bonano shared.
Jefferson Parish Council is hoping to get a response from Governor John Bel Edwards within two weeks.