Louisiana lifts mask mandate amid sharp drop in COVID cases

After emerging from the worst coronavirus pandemic, Louisiana has decided to end its state-wide indoor mask mandate.

Louisiana lifts mask mandate amid sharp drop in COVID cases

The state also saw a sharp drop in COVID-19 infection rates. Tuesday's announcement was made by John Bel Edwards.
This decision is one of the first mandates for the removal of masks in response to the outbreak that was fueled by the delta variant.

Edwards stated, "I stand today optimistic, relieved to see that the worst of this fourth surge is now behind us now."

While the Democratic governor is easing the mask requirement for restaurants, bars, and other sites, he will keep some face-covering regulations in place for Louisiana's K-12 school. Edwards stated that children are more at risk, and students younger than 12 cannot yet be vaccinated against coronavirus.

Schools that have strict quarantine policies for students who come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not be required to require a mask mandate. Districts that do not require students who have been exposed to COVID-19 to be sent home must keep them masked.

The new regulations will take effect Wednesday.

Louisiana State University stated that it will continue to enforce its indoor mask mandate despite the governor's decision. New Orleans indicated that it will not necessarily follow Edwards' example.

In August, Louisiana's highest COVID-19 infected per capita rate and hospitals were overwhelmed, Edwards reinstated its mask mandate.

Since then, the number of hospitalizations and new cases have dropped dramatically. Louisiana now has one in ten new infections.

Louisiana still has one of the lowest rates of coronavirus vaccination in the country, with only 47% of its population fully vaccinated.

"We will be vulnerable in Louisiana to another surge, until we get more of our neighbors, friends, and family vaccinated," stated Dr. Joe Kanter. Kanter is the governor's chief health advisor.