Fifth Circuit Court knocks down Texas abortion ban | The Latest | Gambit Weekly

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Tuesday evening a Texas law banning the most common and safest type of second trimester abortion, marking an unlikely victory for reproductive rights advocates from one of the most conservative appeals courts. 

The statute effectively outlawed the dilation and evacuation procedure, known as D&E, in which doctors open the cervix and remove fetal tissue from the uterus. The law would only allow the procedure, the one usually used for abortions after 14 weeks of pregnancy, if the “fetal demise” occurs in the uteruswhich would require an invasive additional step for doctors and women that is not part of a typical D&E. 

In its Whole Woman’s Health v. Ken Paxton decision, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the law unduly burdens a woman’s constitutionally-protected right to obtain a previability abortion” because it “requires a woman to undergo an additional and medically unnecessary procedure to cause fetal demise before she may obtain a dilation and evacuation abortion.”  

Louisiana passed a similar law in 2016, with exceptions only for a serious health risk to the mother, but it is not currently in effect. Several other states have had their own bans challenged in courtincluding Alabama, Kansas and Oklahoma. It is unclear if the ruling will apply to Louisiana and Mississippi, which are also in the Fifth Circuit’s jurisdiction and have similar bans on the books. 

The Texas law started out as a bill banning a late-term abortion procedure that was already outlawed at the federal level in 2003 and forbidding the sale or donation of embryonic and fetal tissue. But after several amendments, the final form of the law had many other parts, including requiring the burial or cremation of embryonic and fetal tissue. The D&E ban, however, was the biggest change. 

The law also included criminal penalties for doctors who did not adhere to it. 

Eight licensed abortion clinics and three abortion providers challenged the Texas law, and the Fifth Circuit, which covers Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, ruled in their favor and against the state of Texas. 

The ruling in favor of abortion rights comes as Louisiana residents begin to vote on whether they want to add an amendment to the state constitution declaring it does not include the right to abortion. It also comes in the midst of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearings. If confirmed to the Supreme Court, Barrett would give the court and even stronger anti-abortion majority, which could impact decades of future abortion legislation. 

Barrett is from Louisiana.

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The Latest: Israel surpasses 2,000 deaths from coronavirus

JERUSALEM — Israel has now recorded more than 2,000 deaths from the coronavirus as the country remains under lockdown for a fourth week to quell the outbreak.

The Health Ministry reported Monday night that the country had surpassed 2,000 deaths. It reported five more fatalities on Tuesday, raising the toll to 2,021.

Israel — which has confirmed more than 295,000 cases — had garnered praise earlier this year for its swift imposition of travel restrictions to limit the pandemic’s spread, but after lifting the first nationwide lockdown in May, new cases quickly increased.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government imposed a second blanket lockdown on Sept. 18 as the infection rate per capita grew to one of the highest in the world.

Israel’s infection rate is gradually decreasing, and the Cabinet is deliberating how and when the government will start to lift restrictions.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Second COVID-19 vaccine trial paused over unexplained illness

— Takeaways: Coronavirus at center of Supreme Court hearings

— Defiant Trump defends virus record at his first post-COVID rally

— As the pandemic presses on, waves of grief follow its path

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ISLAMABAD — With Pakistan’s coronavirus caseload inching upward, the government has increased lockdowns across the country, targeting markets and neighborhoods with increasing numbers.

At a meeting of top government officials from across the country Tuesday, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said 3,497 so-called “smart” lockdowns have been imposed in districts across the country of 220 million people.

Pakistan has recorded 319,848 cases, including 531 new ones reported Tuesday.

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NEW DELHI — India has registered 55,342 new coronavirus cases, its lowest single-day tally since mid-August.

The Health Ministry raised India’s confirmed total to more than 7.17 million cases on Tuesday but said the country was showing a trend of declining daily cases over the last five weeks.

The ministry also reported 706 deaths in the past 24 hours, raising the toll to 109,856.

According to data shared by the Health Ministry, the average number of daily cases from Sept. 9-15 was 92,830. The average has steadily declined since then, falling to under 73,000 per day over the last week.

Meanwhile, India’s testing rate has remained constant, with almost 1.1. million tests being carried out every day.

India, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, is second in the world in total cases, behind only the U.S., which has confirmed over 7.8 million infections.

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BEIJING — Authorities in the eastern Chinese port city of Qingdao say they have completed coronavirus tests on more than 3 million people following the country’s first reported local outbreak of the virus in nearly two months.

The city’s health department said Tuesday that no new positive cases had been found among the more than 1.1 million test results returned thus far. The city said it had a total of 12 cases, six with symptoms

The Latest: Brazil’s Virus Death Toll Surpasses 150,000 | World News

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s count of COVID-19 deaths surpassed 150,000 on Saturday night, despite signs the pandemic is slowly retreating in Latin America’s largest nation.

The Brazilian Health Ministry reported that the death toll now stands at 150,198. The figure is the world’s second highest behind the United States, according to the tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has played down the severity of the virus while deaths mounted rapidly in Brazil. The 65-year-old president flouted social distancing at lively demonstrations and encouraged crowds during outings from the presidential residence. He has rejected governors’ and mayors’ lockdowns and other tough measures to contain the virus’ spread, even after he contracted it himself in July.

But there have been recent signs of relief in Brazil. Over the last month and a half, the viral curve has dropped. The average number of deaths sat at 598 over the last 7 days, the lowest level since the beginning of May.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump makes speech from White House balcony, 1st appearance in 5 days since return to residence

— Religious gathering limit upheld as New York hospitalizations rise

— Dr. Fauci cautions against large gatherings without masks, social distancing

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismisses the latest White House offer in COVID-19 aid talks but remains hopeful progress can be made toward a deal.

— Queen Elizabeth II honored the work of doctors and nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

— The NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots had no positive coronavirus tests Saturday and both teams will be allowed to go back to their facilities.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Anchorage public health officials say they are investigating a coronavirus outbreak from a youth hockey tournament that drew teams from around Alaska. Officials say more than 300 players, coaches and fans were in attendance at the Termination Dust Invitational over a three-day period last weekend. Teams came from nine cities across the state. Local health officials did not provide specific numbers as to how many people tested positive as a result of the event. But, tournament organizers say they first learned of a positive case in one of the teams on Monday. They also say they knew of two teams with a positive case each.

ST. LOUIS — Missouri reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, more than doubling its previous daily record.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said there have been a total of 144,230 confirmed cases since the outbreak started, up 5,066 cases from Friday. The state also reported 27 more deaths to bring the total to 2,422.

The new number more than doubles the previous single-day high of 2,084 new cases, which occurred on July 30. Health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Associated

The Latest: Glitch caused Mo. virus count inaccuracy

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A “database extract error” resulted in an incorrect inflation of the number of reported COVID-19 cases in Missouri going back over several days, Missouri health officials said Sunday. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said in a news release that it is in the process of migrating all COVID-19 testing and case data into one new consolidated system. Missouri incorrectly reported Saturday on its coronavirus website more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, more than double the previous single-day record. The agency said Sunday it is working urgently to resolve the issue and will update its website with the correct numbers once that is done. It said the problems with the data were limited to cumulative reporting on its Show Me Strong Covid-19 Public Health Dashboard.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— The White House doctor says President Donald Trump is no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say whether Trump had tested negative. Some medical experts are skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early.

— Trump makes speech from White House balcony, 1st appearance since return to residence

— India’s coronavirus cases top 7 million, a re on track to surpass the United States

— As a second wave of coronavirus infections hit, European nations seem not to have learned their lessons from the first surge

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismisses the latest White House offer in COVID-19 aid talks but remains hopeful progress can be made toward a deal.

— Queen Elizabeth II honors the work of doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The number of people hospitalized in Arkansas with the coronavirus hit a record-high on Sunday of 576. The Arkansas Department of Health said the number of people hospitalized rose by 22. Hospitalizations from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, reached records levels Tuesday through Friday before dropping by six on Saturday. The health department on Sunday reported 613 new cases for a total of 92,833 confirmed and probable cases. With 17 more deaths, the number of confirmed and probable deaths in the state so far rose to 1,569. Gov. Asa Hutchinson told CNN on Sunday that he was concerned about the increase in hospitalizations. “Right now, we do have capacity,” Hutchinson said, adding that they’re “watching it very carefully and taking it seriously.”

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s governor says he will be in isolation after a member of his security detail who drove with his family tested positive for the coronavirus.

Gov. Andy Beshear said Sunday that he and his family feel fine and have tested negative for the virus. Beshear’s wife and their two children also will stay isolated.

The governor has stressed the importance of following the advice of health experts to

The Latest: California Governor Tests Negative for Virus | World News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has tested negative for the coronavirus.

The governor’s office said Newsom was tested on Wednesday after someone in the governor’s office tested positive. The staff member who tested positive had not interacted with Newsom or anyone else who often sees the governor.

The governor’s office said Newsom took the test out of “an abundance of caution.”

Newsom said Wednesday that he has been tested many times and has always been negative. California has reported more than 834,000 coronavirus cases and more than 16,300 deaths.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Washington DC health department asks Rose Garden attendees to get tested

— Paris hospitals on emergency footing as ICUs fill with coronavirus patients

— Am I immune to the coronavirus if I’ve already had it?

— President Trump says he’s ready to hold campaign rallies, credits an experimental drug treatment with helping recovery from COVID-19.

— Coronavirus infections in Ukraine began surging in late summer, hospitals are ‘catastrophically short of doctors.’

— The NFL’s Tennessee Titans had another positive test, bringing the team’s outbreak of COVID-19 to 23.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BEIJING __ China, which has four coronavirus vaccine candidates in the last stage of clinical trials, announced Friday that it is joining the COVID-19 vaccine alliance known as COVAX.

The country signed an agreement with GAVI, the co-leader of the alliance, on Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Initially, China did not agree to join the alliance, missing the global deadline to join in September.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement that “we are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX.”

The alliance is designed so that richer countries agree to buy into potential vaccines and help finance access for poorer ones. The Trump administration in the U.S. had declined to join the alliance.

The exact terms of the agreement and how China will contribute are not yet clear. .

HARTFORD, Conn. — Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House coronavirus task force says she is concerned about the uptick in coronavirus cases in the Northeast.

She said Thursday at the University of Connecticut’s Hartford campus that a “very different” kind of spread is happening now.

She says it’s not happening in the workplace so much because people are taking precautions. She says more people are becoming infected because of indoor family gatherings and social events as the weather cools.

She says that was a lesson learned in the South during the summer when people went indoors for air conditioning.

BOISE, Idaho — The number of Idaho residents collecting unemployment dropped for the 22nd consecutive week as the state’s reopened economy continues recovering, while at the same time coronavirus pandemic deaths hit 500.

The Idaho Department of Labor said Thursday that the number

Louisiana coronavirus: 526 new cases, 5 more deaths reported Thursday; see latest data | Coronavirus

The Louisiana Department of Health reported 526 more coronavirus cases and five more deaths in its daily noon update Thursday.

The number of hospitalizations increased by 12, and the number of patients in need of ventilators increased by one.

Here are a few key statewide statistics as of Thursday:

— Total cases: 170,621

— Total deaths: 5,416

— Currently hospitalized: 564

— Currently on ventilators: 79

— Presumed recovered: 157,873 as of Oct. 5 (updated weekly)

— Probable cases: 2,528 as of Oct. 7 (updated weekly)

Note: The Advocate and The Times-Picayune staff calculates daily case count increases based on the difference between today’s total and yesterday’s total of confirmed coronavirus cases. The Louisiana Department of Health releases a daily case count on Twitter based on the deletion of duplicate cases. That case count can be different than the one listed here.

You can view more graphs and charts breaking down the data by clicking here.

Louisiana began reopening for Phase 1 on May 15-16 then moved to Phase 2 on June 5. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards extended Louisiana’s Phase 2 restrictions twice in August before moving the state to Phase 3 on Sept. 11.

This is a developing story. More details and analysis to come.

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The Latest: Sri Lanka Bans Gatherings Amid Virus Cluster | World News

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Authorities in Sri Lanka have banned all public gatherings as a new cluster of coronavirus infections expands in the Indian Ocean island nation.

Health authorities said early Wednesday that the outbreak centered at a garment factory has risen to 830 confirmed cases while more than 1,000 people have been asked to quarantine at their homes.

The health ministry ordered a halt to gatherings such as exhibitions, parties, conferences, indoor or outdoor events, carnivals, musical shows and processions. Officials already imposed a curfew in two suburbs of Colombo where many of the patients live, closed schools and restrictws public transport.

The cluster emerged Monday, a day after Sri Lanka reported its first community infection in two months. The country has reported 3,733 cases during the pandemic, with 13 deaths.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Pentagon says top military leaders are under self-quarantine

— How do I politely ask someone to wear a mask? If in store or restaurant, have a manager make the request

— Virginia Gov. Northam has mild symptoms 2 weeks after virus diagnosis

— Despite decades of warnings about the fragile supply lines bringing protective gear from overseas factories to America’s health care workers, the U.S. was unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic.

— Hospitals and staff are stretched to their limits again in Madrid, where the surging number of COVID-19 patients in September forced an expansion of critical care beds into gymnasiums.

— Service workers in New Orleans who were laid off because of the coronavirus’s impact on the economy are earning a living by helping others survive during the pandemic.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 114 new cases of the coronavirus, its first daily jump of over 100 in a week.

Health officials had raised concerns that infections will rise because of increased travel during the five-day Chuseok harvest holiday that ended Sunday.

The figures released by health officials Wednesday brought South Korea’s case total to 24,353 for the pandemic, including 425 deaths.

Ninety-two of the newly confirmed cases were in the Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of a viral resurgence since mid-August. Health officials have been struggling to track transmissions linked to various places, including hospitals, churches, restaurants and an army unit in Pocheon, north of Seoul, where 37 soldiers so far have tested positive.

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York’s governor says the state will reinstate restrictions on businesses, houses of worship and schools in and around areas where coronavirus cases are spiking.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the severity of shutdowns would vary by proximity to hot spots.

The rules will take effect no later than Friday in parts of New York City’s Brooklyn and Queens boroughs, sections of Orange and Rockland counties north of the city, and an area within the upstate city of Binghamton near the Pennsylvania border.

The planned restrictions

The Latest: Trump Tweets That He’s Leaving Hospital Monday | Political News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s health after his COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization, and infections of close aides and others (all times local):

President Donald Trump says he’s leaving the hospital Monday evening after a three-day stay to treat symptoms of COVID-19.

The president tweeted: “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

The virus has killed nearly 210,000 Americans.

Trump has been treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since Friday afternoon.

Trump’s return comes as the White House is still learning of the scale of the apparent outbreak on the complex last week. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for the coronavirus Monday morning.

A Christian pastor who attended the Rose Garden event where President Donald Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Greg Laurie of the California-based Harvest Christian Fellowship megachurch says he was diagnosed with the virus on Friday and was quarantining after experiencing symptoms such as fatigue and fever.

Laurie said in a Facebook video that he hopes “we could not politicize something like this and show compassion” to those affected. The prominent evangelical also participated in a prayer march on the National Mall that featured Vice President Mike Pence as a prominent guest. The march was held the same day as the Rose Garden event.

Another conservative evangelical leader who was present at the Rose Garden event, Texas-based megachurch pastor Jack Graham, told his congregants on Sunday that “I don’t have COVID” and that he is “ridiculously healthy, let’s just put it that way.” However, Graham did not address whether he had received a negative test result, and a church spokesperson did not comment further on the matter.

President Donald Trump’s doctor will be delivering an update on the president’s condition later Monday afternoon at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Trump is undergoing treatment for a fourth day for COVID-19.

It has been more than 24 hours since Trump’s physicians last provided an update on his condition, though White House aides said Trump was hopeful to be discharged as soon as Monday afternoon.

Trump sent a number of all-caps tweets Monday morning encouraging supporters to vote, with just weeks until Election Day. But he hasn’t yet appeared in photos or videos released by the White House on Monday.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says that President Donald Trump’s fundraiser at his Bedminster golf club hours before he announced he had contracted the coronavirus was wrong and “put lives at risk.”

Murphy on Monday called the trip the “wrong decision at every level” and said it should have been canceled.

The state is trying to keep tabs on the 206 attendees and 19 workers in an effort to thwart

The Latest: Africa CDC: International traveling platform

JOHANNESBURG — African governments have worked together to launch a digital platform to inform travelers about COVID-19 travel restrictions across the continent, as many countries ease restrictions on international travel.

Still reeling from nearly six months of a ban on international travel to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, major airports on the continent have now resumed international flights, but with specific restrictions.

The #Trusted Travel, My COVID Pass, will provide travelers in Africa with information about what requirements they will face going to different countries in the continent, the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr.John Nkengasong, said Monday.


The digital platform will also offer links to laboratories where travelers will be able to get the COVID-19 test results that are required for entry into many African countries, said Nkengason on an Africa CDC internet press conference.

Some of the continent’s largest laboratory firms have backed the initiative. Chairman of South Africa’s Ampath Laboratories, Dr. Robbie Buck, said private labs across the continent can deliver test results in 24 hours. He discouraged travelers from trying to get tests at airports, saying the new platform for Africa could enable them to go to laboratories for screening and test results before they go to the airport.

To enter South Africa, for example, a traveler must produce a negative test result delivered within 72 hours of the departure of the flight. Other African countries have different requirements.

The new website is designed to inform travelers about the different requirements across the continent, said Nkengasong.

It will initially provide information for 12 countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Senegal, considered travel hubs as they have high air traffic volumes.

Director at Kenya Airways, Julius Thairu, said even though airlines are now allowed to operate, they have far fewer passengers than before the COVID-19 outbreak. Kenya Airways is currently operating with only 20% of the passengers it had before the travel bans were imposed in response to the coronavirus outbreak, he said.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— New Jersey governor: Trump fundraiser ‘put lives at risk’

— Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for COVID-19

— Americans fault US govt over foreign powers for virus crisis

— Trump, moving to show strength, aims for Monday release

— Biden campaign says Democratic presidential nominee tested negative for virus

— EU top official self-isolating after contact with virus case

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Saginaw man is home after more than six months in health-care facilities, all related to COVID-19.

John Curtis, 44, had abdominal surgery, seizures, sepsis, paralysis and more. He was released last week from his last stop: Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids.

“He’s been through a lot,” said Dr. Ralph Wang, a rehab specialist.

“I think COVID probably caused half of his problems,” Wang told WOOD-TV. “So it was very significant. I think it

Louisiana coronavirus: 230 new cases, 9 more deaths reported Monday; see latest data | Coronavirus

The Louisiana Department of Health reported 230 more coronavirus cases and nine more deaths in its daily noon update Monday.

The number of hospitalizations increased by 29, and the number of patients in need of ventilators increased by three.

Here are a few key statewide statistics as of Monday:

— Total cases: 168,512

— Total deaths: 5,396

— Currently hospitalized: 547

— Currently on ventilators: 71

— Presumed recovered: 154,163 as of Sept. 28 (updated weekly)

— Probable cases: 1,425 as of Sept. 30 (updated weekly)

Note: The Advocate and The Times-Picayune staff calculates daily case count increases based on the difference between today’s total and yesterday’s total of confirmed coronavirus cases. The Louisiana Department of Health releases a daily case count on Twitter based on the deletion of duplicate cases. That case count can be different than the one listed here.

You can view more graphs and charts breaking down the data by clicking here.

Louisiana began reopening for Phase 1 on May 15-16 then moved to Phase 2 on June 5. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards extended Louisiana’s Phase 2 restrictions twice in August before moving the state to Phase 3 on Sept. 11.

This is a developing story. More details and analysis to come.

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