Louisiana entered Phase 1 of reopening this past Friday, May 15, but Governor John Bel Edwards already has his eye on the state entering Phase 2 in early June.

The governor says he's optimistic that the state will be ready for Phase 2 of the White House's guidelines for reopening by the tentative date of June 5.

Of course, there still is work to be done by the Louisiana people.

"If the people of Louisiana will continue to social distance, wear their masks, engage in good hygiene, then there’s no reason why we can’t continue to see improvements in our cases, even as we open up more businesses and houses of worship to more people, and so forth,” said Edwards.

According to the governor, officials will make the decision on Phase 2 by looking at COVID-like symptoms being reported to emergency rooms across the state, the number of COVID-19 cases, testing, and hospitalizations.

"The timeline that we've set forth is to get the data over the next two weeks," said Edwards.

So, if we do enter Phase 2, what does that entail? Here are some of the highlights of Phase 2 according to the White House's plan:

  • All vulnerable individuals should continue to stay home.
  • Employers should still encourage tele-work.
  • Schools and organized youth activities can resume.
  • Bars may operate with diminished standing-room occupancy.
  • Large venues can operate under moderate physical distancing protocols.
  • Visits to senior care facilities should remain prohibited.

The governor is expected to make an announcement regarding whether or not Louisiana is ready to enter Phase 2 on June 1. This will give businesses that have been closed some time to prepare.