Edwards ends mask mandate except for some schools

Gov. John Bel Edwards said today he’s largely ending Louisiana’s nearly 3-month-old indoor mask mandate because the state has emerged from its latest coronavirus spike and is seeing lower rates of COVID-19 infection.

But while the Democratic governor is lifting the mask requirement for grocery stores, restaurants, bars, retailers, colleges and other sites, he’s keeping a complicated set of face-covering rules in place for Louisiana’s K-12 schools.

School districts that maintain tight quarantine regulations for students who have come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 won’t be required to have a mask mandate. But those districts that don’t require all exposed students to be sent home will have to keep students and staff masked up, under Edwards’ new regulations taking effect Wednesday.

The Edwards administration said stricter requirements should remain in place at schools because children have greater exposure risks, with students under 12 not yet able to get vaccinated against the coronavirus and sitting in crowded classrooms for hours.

The split decision for schools highlights Edwards’ displeasure with Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley’s loosening of quarantine guidance for hundreds of thousands of K-12 students.

Though Edwards decided to lift most of the face-covering mandate across Louisiana, masks will be required at airports, on planes, on public transportation and in medical facilities because of federal rules. Individual businesses also can enact their own mask requirements if they choose. 

New Orleans also won’t necessarily follow the governor’s lead.

Beau Tidwell, a spokesperson for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, says the … Continue Reading Story

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