High school sports stadiums in some parishes can operate at 50 percent capacity starting Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said during a Thursday afternoon press conference.
The new order applies only to stadiums in parishes that have had a 5 percent or less positivity rate for COVID-19 infection for the previous two weeks. As of Oct. 22, that would mean 26 of the state’s 64 parishes would be allowed to have football games with crowds at 50 percent capacity, but parishes are not required to increase that capacity from the current 25 percent maximum.
If a parish’s positivity rate rises above 10 percent over a two-week period, then that parish’s stadiums will have to return to a maximum 25 percent capacity.
“We’re trying to make sure we can expand the capacity as we’re able to do so safely,” Edwards said. “Tying it to the percent positivity… is the safest and most responsible and most consistent way to do that.”
Edwards said he made this change to the emergency order based on requests made by the Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder and Senate President Page Cortez.
Edwards warned that his new order increasing the number of people who can attend games does not mean fans can act unsafely. They are still expected to wear masks and practice social distancing.
“If you are vulnerable, you shouldn’t be going into crowds anywhere,” Edwards said. “And that certainty includes a football game.”