COVID-19

A statewide mask mandate went into effect for Louisiana on Monday, July 13 at 12:01 a.m.

Governor John Bel Edwards announced the implementation of the mandatory mask requirement at a press conference on Saturday, July 11.

The governor’s order also requires bars in the state to close to on-premises consumption. Only curbside, takeout or delivery service will be permitted.

It also limits indoor social gatherings like wedding receptions, class reunions and parties to a total of 50 people. Outdoor social gatherings will also be limited to 50 people if individuals cannot keep a six foot distance between others.

The order will remain in effect until July 24.

MASK MANDATE

  • The statewide mask mandate applies to all 64 parishes in Louisiana. However, parishes with a COVID-19 incidence of fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 people for the most recent two-week period for which data is available could choose to opt out of the mandate. Parish presidents do not have to opt out and may choose to keep a mask mandate in place. Currently, only three parishes in Louisiana do not exceed this standard, which will be updated every other week by the Louisiana Department of Health: Grant, Red River and West Feliciana.

    The order requires face coverings for everyone ages 8 and older except for the following:

    • Anyone who has a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering
    • Anyone who is consuming a drink or food
    • Anyone who is trying to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired
    • Anyone who is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience
    • Anyone temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes
    • Anyone who is a resident of a parish without a high COVID incidence that has opted out of the masking mandate

    Masks are strongly recommended for children ages 2 to 7.

CLOSURE OF BARS TO ALL ON PREMISES CONSUMPTION

  • All bars, including those with food permits from the Louisiana Department of Health, will be closed to on-premises consumption. They can operate for curbside takeout or delivery service only.

    Since the start of the crisis, Louisiana has identified at least 36 outbreaks, impacting at least 405 people, involving bars, which were actually closed under the Governor’s original Stay at Home order. Public health officials believe going to bars is a higher public health risk than visiting other types of businesses because people are socializing and cannot wear masks when they drink. In addition, young people under the age of 30 make up the largest percentage of new COVID cases in Louisiana.

GATHERING SIZE

  • The new order also limits the size of social gatherings to 50 people indoors. Outdoor social gatherings are also limited to 50 people if individuals cannot avoid being within six feet of one another.

    This crowd size limitation shall not apply to those businesses deemed essential as defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency or any businesses and organizations operating at 50% capacity pursuant to Paragraphs (1) through (6) of Subsection (G) of Section 2 of 83 JBE 2020, including churches and other faith-based organizations.

    The 50-person limit will apply to indoor gatherings, like receptions, weddings and others. The changes are based on the advice of public health officials.

    Click here to read the proclamation.

For more specific information and guidance, visit www.opensafely.la.gov

The Governor has announced Phase 2 reopening on Friday, June 5th, 2020. Below are businesses that can start to re-open in Phase 2 as well as businesses that were open for Phase 1 can now move forward with new guidelines. 

 

Phase 2 Reopening – What’s New

  • Spas, massage establishments & esthetician services
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Pool halls, bowling alleys, & skating rinks
  • Event centers and wedding venues
  • Outdoor playgrounds and play centers
  • Bars without LDH food permits (at 25% capacity)

What REMAINS OPEN at 50% Capacity

  • Retail, including malls
  • Places of worship
  • Restaurants
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Casinos and video poker
  • Theaters, skating rinks, and bowling alleys
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Solo & non-contact sports
  • Bars and breweries with LDH food permits

WHAT WILL REMAIN CLOSED DURING PHASE 2

  • Amusement and water parks
  • Children’s indoor play centers
  • Contact sports
  • Concert and music halls
  • Sleep-away camps

**To be noted, LIVE entertainment is NOT permitted inside any building or indoor function**

For more specific information and guidance, visit www.opensafely.la.gov

The Governor has announced Phase 1 reopening after May 15th, 2020. Below are businesses that can start to re-open in Phase 1: Safer at Home. Businesses are limiting to 25% of normal occupancy allows for physical distancing. Occupancy capacity is based on both the gross square footage and the use of a building as well as the amount of space required for individuals to stay six feet apart. The occupancy capacity includes customers and employees. 

 

Now Open with limitations (25% occupancy, sanitation, spacing for physical distancing)

  • Churches
  • Solo and non-contact Sports
  • Barbers and salons
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums (no tactile exhibits)
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • In malls, only stores with exterior entrances
  • Restaurants, coffee shops and cafes
  • Bars and breweris with LDH food permit – takeout, delivery, and dine-in seating only
  • Theaters
  • Casinos and Video Poker
  • Racetracks (not open to spectators)

For more specific information and guidance, visit www.opensafely.la.gov

YPN Seminar featuring Brian Moses

Your Professional Network (YPN) held a webinar featuring National Speaker, Brian Moses on ways to keep your business on top during this pandemic. 

Click here to view the webinar!

 

Financial Help For COVID-19 Relief

Filing for Unemployment - UPDATE

Due to an unprecedented demand of unemployment claims, please file your weekly certification based on the following rules. If the last digit of your social security number is between 0 and 3, please file your weekly certification on Sunday or Wednesday thru Saturday. If the last digit of your SSN is between 4 and 6, please file your weekly certification on Monday or Wednesday thru Saturday. If the last digit of your SSN number is between 7 and 9, please file your weekly certification on Tuesday thru Saturday. 

 

Realtors Now Qualify for the Payment Protection Program (PPP)

Attention REALTOR® Members:

Beginning on April 10th banks are now accepting applications for the PPP (Payment Protection Program) for Independent contractors who file their taxes using 1099 forms, which is the majority of the RAA membership. We strongly encourage you to reach out to your bankers to discuss this PPP application and also consult your broker. 

The RAA President, Jim Keaty has done an excellent video on how to apply for the PPP and how REALTORS® need to file. Please take the time to listen below and get the in’s and out’s of the application process.

Online Forum with the Small Business Administration

During this webinar Small Business Administration representatives go through the Payment Protection Program (PPP) as well as other loan programs members can apply for if they have been affected by COVID-19.

PLEASE take the time to listen!

 

Unemployment Assistance

Independent Contractors, including REALTORS, Eligible for Unemployment Assistance. 

The CARES Act legislation includes a provision that provides for temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through December 31st, 2021.

 

Click Here For More Information

Appraiser Update

New guidelines have been issued for Appraisers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Be sure to talk to lenders about these new guidelines. 

Click here to learn more!

 

Working Virtually? What Does it all Mean!?

So we’ve started talking about all kinds of virtual “work” for listing and selling agents these days. Here is a run-down on the differences between them:

Virtual Open House
LIVE, scheduled event that is held via Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting or some other similar service.
*In MLS, you can add them Scheduled Marketing Activities section of the Change Listing Page.

Virtual Showing
LIVE, scheduled showing that is held via Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting or some other similar service.
*To learn more about scheduling and conducting a virtual showing, click here for ShowingTime’s March newsletter with how-to videos.

Virtual Tour:
A slide show or other interactive media that is pre-recorded or created and NOT scheduled.  There is no live component for a virtual tour.
*In MLS, you can add one in the Media section of the Change Listing Page.

Video:
A walkthrough or presentation that is pre-recorded or created and not scheduled.
*Available in the Media section of the Change Listing Page.

Click here to Create A Virtual Open House!

 

Real Estate Market Adapts During COVID-19

KATC sat down with REALTOR® Association of Acadiana President, Jim Keaty on how agents and consumers are adapting amidst the coronavirus. 

 

NAR Releases Right Tools, Right Now

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has released the Right Tools, Right Now initiative, which was activated once before in 2009, makes new and existing NAR products and services available for FREE or at significant discounts – right now – and is available to REALTORS®.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to expand your knowledge base. 

COVID-19 UPDATE

With the ongoing spread of COVID-19, our team at the Realtor® Association of Acadiana is committed to supporting you during this difficult time.

We will provide updates and resources to help our members and our members’ businesses, along with our community. If you have any questions or concerns, please send an email to Susan Holliday

Online Forum With U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy

The RAA Leadership Team wants to be sure every RAA member has an opportunity to listen to the below webinar which was hosted by Louisiana REALTORS® with Senator Bill Cassidy.

On the call, Senator Cassidy offered real ways in which members may be able to get some financial relief during this unprecedented crisis.

The webinar only lasts about 30 minutes.

PLEASE take the time to listen!

An Update from LREC on COVID-19

The LREC takes the health and safety of our stakeholders, communities, and employees very seriously. We are committed to serving the real estate community during this unprecedented time.

Pursuant to Governor Edwards’ March 22, 2020 proclamation, the LREC has closed the office to the public at this time. In order to protect our staff from the spread of COVID-19, our employees will be teleworking but remain committed to keeping the operations and functions of the agency going.

While we are continuing to accept paperwork via mail, fax, email, and our office drop box, please note that our current staffing situation may cause slight delays in processing.

We ask that you reach out with any questions via email rather than leaving voicemails at this time. All of our employees are monitoring their email remotely and this is the fastest way to receive a response to your questions. Please use the emails below for the fastest response:

How Does the Governor’s Stay At Home Order Impact Real Estate

By: Patricia B. McMurray, JD and Melissa M. Grand, JD
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
450 Laurel Street, Chase Tower North, 21st Floor
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70801

The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving.  Many state and local governments across the country are issuing orders to either shelter in place or to “stay at home unless essential.”  On March 22, 2020, Governor John Bel Edwards issued a statewide Stay at Home Order (the “Order”) effective on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. through Monday, April 13, 2020.  Supplemental guidance on essential businesses issued by the Governor’s Office may be found here.

We encourage brokers and managers to contact their agents and support staff to determine a plan of action on how best to serve their clients through remote and virtual methods and how to conduct business while also following the Governor’s Order and the CDC’s guidelines on group gatherings.

DISCLAIMER

Information and additional guidance and orders regarding the pandemic are being issued daily.  The information is the article was last updated on March 23, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.

These materials are to be used for informational purposes and should not be construed as specific legal advice.  These materials are not designed to cover every aspect of a legal situation for every factual circumstance that may arise regarding the subject matter included.

This publication is for reference purposes only and association members or other readers are responsible for contacting their own attorneys or other professional advisors for legal or contract advice.  The comments provided herein solely represent the opinions of the authors and is not a guarantee of interpretation of the law or contracts by any court or by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission.

[1] Information and additional guidance and orders regarding the pandemic are being issued daily.  The information is the article was last updated on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.

[2] See Order, Section 2.

[3] See Order, Section 3.

[4] See http://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19. Guidance on what worker functions are “essential” is outlined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). See http://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19 and https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA-Guidance-on-Essential-Critical-Infrastructure-Workers-1-20-508c.pdf.  According to CISA guidance, critical infrastructure industries, such as healthcare services, pharmaceutical, and food supply, are essential. See CISA’s website for further explanation on essential critical infrastructure jobs. See also, Governor’s guidance on essential businesses, https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/docs/covid/Essential-Infrastructure_fact-sheet.pdf.

[5] See Order, Section 3.

[6] Section 4 of the Order lists specific nonessential businesses ordered to be closed to the public and members.   

[7] See Order, Section 4.

[8] See Order, Section 5.

[9] See http://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19.

[10] See https://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/2427 (emphasis added).