How to Stay Safe During the Reopening of Louisiana
It’s been almost two months since Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards enacted a statewide stay at home order, effectively shutting down thousands of non-essential businesses and mandating that residents stay in their homes as much as possible.
According to the Louisiana Department of Health, nearly 40,000 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in thousands of hospitalizations and more than 2,500 deaths across the state.
Louisiana Reopening: Phase One Begins
Finally on May 15, 2020, Governor Edwards lifted the stay at home order, jump starting the first phase of the Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana initiative. Over the past week, lifted restrictions have allowed for the reopening of restaurants, gyms, hair and beauty salons, casinos, theaters, and churches, along with other businesses.
It may seem like a small step forward—with reopened businesses operating at just 25% capacity—but it feels like a huge win to many struggling business owners and employees who finally can return to their livelihoods.
As hopeful locals look forward to the next step in the governor’s Louisiana reopening plan, it’s important not to lose sight of our number one goal: protecting the people of our great state and preventing the spread of this disease.
To help residents navigate the new and uncertain terrain as we get ready for Phase Two, Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys has prepared the following tips to make the transition a smooth and safe one.
Going Out? Wear a Face Mask
The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strongly recommends wearing a cloth face mask when in public. This protects everyone around you, including vulnerable populations like the elderly and those who are immunocompromised.
You can use a traditional face mask, a scarf, or any other face covering which snugly covers the mouth and nose without interfering with breathing. Those with breathing difficulties and children under two are not recommended to wear face masks.
Get in the habit of wearing your face mask anytime you go out in public, whether indoors or outdoors, especially where it is difficult to maintain social distancing of at least six feet.
Be Especially Cautious on the Road
Traffic has been particularly quiet over the past few months, with many commuters either out of work or working from home. Now that reopening has begun, drivers should be aware that there will likely be more cars on the road than they might be used to—and some motorists might be a little rusty.
Prepare for heavier traffic in the coming weeks as more businesses reopen and keep an eye out for bicyclists and pedestrians. In addition, make sure you adhere to the posted speed limit, avoid distractions, and drive sober in order to avoid a car accident.
Social Distance—the Right Way
At this point, we’ve all heard about social distancing and how important it is. But how many people are actually adhering to these crucial guidelines? Remember that social distancing is about more than just staying six feet apart from others. Good social distancing also means:
- Avoiding unnecessary gatherings of more than ten people
- Avoiding in-person playdates for children and close-contact socializing with friends
- Avoiding public transportation and ridesharing (if possible)
- Working from home whenever possible
Avoid Reopened Businesses That Don’t Follow the Rules
Strict rules have been enacted to help Louisiana reopen gradually and safely. These requirements exist for a reason and must be upheld by retail stores, beauty parlors, libraries, restaurants, places of worship, and other businesses allowed to open during the first phase of Louisiana reopening.
When you enter an establishment, be on the lookout for potential safety hazards. Is the business encouraging social distancing with appropriately placed signs and operating at 25% capacity? Are heavily-trafficked areas blocked off to prevent crowding? Are there tripping hazards or unsanitary conditions? Don’t be afraid to bring your concerns to management to help protect public health.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in Louisiana
When you’ve been injured in Louisiana, you may be uncertain of what you should do. You know your injury was someone else’s fault, but how do you prove it? Just how much compensation could you be entitled to, and is hiring a personal injury lawyer worth it?
At Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys, we help accident victims every day. If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, financial compensation may very well be available to you to help you pay medical bills, replace lost wages, and compensate you for your pain and suffering.
To find out more, schedule a free no obligation consultation with our staff. We’ll review your case and give you all your options. Contact us at one of the numbers below, talk to us using our LiveChat service, or submit the details of your case now.