HOUSTON, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. state of Louisiana will start to reopen on Friday, governor John Bel Edwards announced Monday.
During a press briefing, Edwards said the state will move to Phase One of reopening on May 15. Phase One is expected to last 21 days until June 5, when the state could move into Phase Two.
During Phase One, all non-essential businesses will be allowed to open to the public at 25 percent of capacity, same as restaurants, barber shops, gyms and movie theaters. Children's museums will remain closed, said the governor.
Edwards encouraged vulnerable individuals to stay home as much as possible and required all employees working with the public to wear masks.
Louisiana has been hit hard by COVID-19. As of Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported 31,815 positive cases across the state, of which 1,310 patients are currently being treated in a hospital. So far 2,242 people have died of the disease.