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The promenade at the Mall of Louisiana is void of pedestrian traffic. With an initial $349 billion in relief rapidly being depleted last week and hopes of more to come, businesses have been scrambling for federal aid to cope with the economic distress being inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hours before Louisiana would officially reopen under Phase 1, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced changes to his executive order that would affect casinos and shopping malls.

Casinos in Louisiana will reopen Monday with 50% of their games, such as slot machines and tables, as opposed to the original rule of 25% of gaming positions. The change was ushered in after the state received backlash for the limitations set on the gambling industry.

This does not change how many people are allowed inside casinos, which will follow other reopened businesses in allowing 25% of the facility's capacity. 

Another major change will allow shopping mall retailers with interior entrances to reopen under the same 25% capacity guideline other retailers must follow. When Edwards first released his reopening plan, stores inside of shopping malls would not be allowed to open under Phase 1. 

The capacity requirement is calculated by either one person per 60 square feet of gross area or 25% of the posted capacity by the State Fire Marshal, which is issuing the guidance in conjunction with Edwards’ administration. 

Businesses in Louisiana can visit to receive guidance as the state moves through a phased reopening. Through all phases, Edwards said business employees and residents should wear masks and practice social distancing while in public.

Contact Katelyn Umholtz at