Federal Court sides with Gov. Edwards, denying bar owners appeal to overturn COVID-19 safety measures

Louisiana

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards holds up his own mask, taken off while he was speaking, to remind Louisiana residents that a highly effective thing within their power to do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to simply wear a mask, Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at a press conference update on the state’s COVID-19 situation at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge, La. (Travis Spradling/The Advocate via AP, Pool)

BATON ROUGE — On Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth District denied an appeal by 21 bar owners seeking to overturn Gov. John Bel Edwards’ mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana.

This decision marks the ninth time that a court has ruled in favor of the governor’s life-saving orders.

Of the decision, Gov. Edwards said:

“None of the decisions I have made for the past 10 months have been easy, especially when it comes to limiting businesses, and I am pleased that another court has upheld what I have always said: that these orders are completely constitutional, legal and necessary to protect public health. All of these sensible mitigation measures were recommended by public health experts as COVID-19 has ravaged our state, infecting more than 355,835 people and killing 8,022 Louisianans already.

COVID is a bigger threat today than it has ever been in Louisiana and all of us must take steps now to protect ourselves and those around us, including wearing masks, keeping social distance, staying home when we are sick and avoiding gatherings with people outside of our households. The vaccines that are available represent a light at the end of the tunnel, but until they are more widely available to the public our best chance of slowing the spread of the virus is to follow the mitigation measures that have already proven to work effectively. If we all do that, I know that we will get to the place we all want to be.”

On the same day, Governor Edwards extended his modified Phase 2 order into February 2021. The current COVID-19 mitigation measures will remain in place for another 28 days.

As of January 13, more than 8,000 people have died in the state of Louisiana as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to read the court’s ruling in full.

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