Louisiana governor reinstates mask mandate statewide starting Aug. 4 through Sept. 1

Coronavirus

UPDATE, 2:49 p.m.: Gov. John Bel Edwards has reinstated a statewide COVID-19 mask mandate effective Wednesday, Aug. 4 for all individuals, vaccinated and unvaccinated, both indoors and outdoors, ages 5 and up. The mandate will be in place through Sept. 1 and may be extended, if necessary.

  • Click here to view the Governor’s Updated Public Health Emergency Order and Indoor Statewide Mask Mandate.
  • Click here to review data and slides presented at today’s media briefing.

The announcement comes as Louisiana expects Tuesday to report the most hospitalizations for COVID since the pandemic began. The mask mandate also extends to all school campuses, said Edwards, as persons age 29 and under are primarily driving the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

Edwards said statewide positivity of COVID cases has reached 13%, and it is only expected to rise with “no signs on the horizon that things will flatten…”

Currently, 43% of Louisiana residents have received at least one dose of vaccine. Only 37% of Louisiana residents are fully vaccinated, said the governor.

STATEWIDE MASK MANDATE

Face masks that properly cover the wearer’s mouth and nose should be worn indoors at all times, unless a person is in a home, under the governor’s statewide mask mandate, which will be in place until at least September 1.

The order requires face coverings for everyone age 5 or older or enrolled in kindergarten, 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

Face coverings are highly encouraged for those ages 2 to 4 as tolerated.

As with the governor’s previous mandate, children younger than kindergarten age are exempted if they cannot wear a mask. However, the CDC and the Louisiana Department of Health strongly encourage indoor mask-wearing in public for all children aged two and older, especially as they are not yet eligible for the COVID vaccine. Generally, LDH shares these reminders for individuals and families who are trying to stay as safe as possible during the COVID-10 pandemic:

  1. If you can do an activity outdoors instead of indoors, do it outdoors
  2. Follow good hygiene practices (wash your hands vigorously and frequently, and don’t touch your face)
  3. Stay away from crowded settings
  4. Work virtually if possible
  5. If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, get tested immediately
  6. If you’re in an at-risk group, be extra careful
  7. Everyone who is sick or who has COVID symptoms should stay home

This is a developing story. Updates will be posted here as they become available.


ORIGINAL POST: BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Gov. John Bel Edwards is holding a press conference at 2:30 p.m. today and is expected to announce his decision on whether or not to reinstate a COVID-19 mask mandate.

In a press conference on Friday, July 30, the governor stopped short of reinstating the mandate, but said he was “seriously considering” the matter. At the time of the press conference, new information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had just come out, and Edwards and State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter both said they wanted to dive deeper into the information over the weekend before announcing a decision.Gov. Edwards: Reinstatement of statewide mask mandate under consideration as COVID-19 cases continue to surge 

“I have received, over the last 24 hours or so, numerous requests from hospitals and healthcare organizations and other entities to reinstate a statewide mask mandate. This is something that I am seriously considering,” Edwards said on Friday.

The decision is expected after the state matched or broke records last week for one-day increases in infections and/or hospitalizations from COVID-19. New cases spiked by 76% over the previous week, according to Louisiana Department of Health data. Meanwhile, local hospitals are starting to report hospital bed shortages and are halting non-essential surgeries.

The original mask mandate was instated on July 13, 2020, and lifted on April 28, 2021. 

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