Officials in Acadia and St. Landry Parish have opted in to reopen bars after falling under the 5% COVID-19 positivity rate for the past two consecutive weeks.

These two parishes now join Jeff Davis as the only parishes in our region that are eligible to reopen bars under Phase Three guidelines.

Acadia Parish Police Jury President Chance Henry and St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard have formally "opted-in" to have bars and other Class AG permit holders to reopen immediately while following certain restrictions.

Under Phase Three guidelines, reopened bars may offer table-side service only and are limited to a 25% occupancy rate or 50 people. Standing and bar service is prohibited.

Outdoor capacity is limited to 50 people and only available for table-side service. Tables must be spaced in accordance with the state fire marshal's social distancing guidelines.

Bars and other Class AG permit holders can only open from 5 pm to 11 pm, however, the sale of alcohol is prohibited after 10 pm. Live music is also prohibited and no one under the age of 21 is allowed on the premises.

Now that Acadia and St. Landry Parish have opted in, the bars can remain open unless positivity rates exceed 10%. Should that happen for two consecutive weeks, bars in the parish would have to close again for on-premises consumption until the percent positivity decreases to 5% or less for two consecutive weeks.

Over the last two weeks (8/27-9/2 and 9/3-9/9), Acadia had an average positivity rate of 4.1% while St. Landry was at 3.55%.

Three other Acadiana area parishes were close over the same period: Lafayette 5.55%, Vermilion 5.8%, Iberia 5.85%.