Louisiana will allow more high school football fans to attend games in outside stadiums, if they’re in parishes with low numbers of coronavirus cases in the last few weeks.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Thursday that the stadiums will be allowed to have crowds at 50% capacity in parishes where 5% or fewer of the coronavirus tests have come back positive in the last two weeks. All stadiums have been capped at 25% capacity.
The change will take effect Friday. The Democratic governor said 26 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes meet the criteria to boost crowd sizes in their high school football stadiums.
Edwards said the change comes in response to a conversation with House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and Senate President Page Cortez, Republicans who are leading an ongoing special session seeking to give lawmakers more authority over the governor’s coronavirus decision-making.
Among the strongest complaints from GOP lawmakers have involved restrictions on crowd sizes at high school football games.
Parishes that meet the criteria announced Thursday for more outdoor seating at high school football stadiums are Assumption, Avoyelles, Catahoula, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison, Orleans, Rapides, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Terrebonne, Vermilion, West Feliciana and Winn.
“It’s a welcomed announcement and I’m very pleased to see Winn Parish is doing so much better as far as our percentage of Covid cases in concerned. The players are extremely excited about the possibility of having more fans in the stands so this in an invitation to come cheer on your Tigers,” said WSHS Coach Jay Watson in response to Thursday’s announcement.