Louisiana lifts statewide mask mandate; schools, hospitals, local governments can still require

BY BLAKE PATERSON | STAFF WRITER

With coronavirus vaccines now widely available, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday the end to Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate, returning power to businesses and local governments to set their own face-covering restrictions.

Masks will still be required at K-12 schools, early childhood education centers, colleges and universities, hospitals, nursing homes, on public transit and at some state government buildings, according to an order issued by the Louisiana Department of Health.

The loosened restrictions come as Louisiana settles into another week of near-historic lows in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Meanwhile, vaccinations are steadily climbing, with more than a quarter of Louisianans fully inoculated as of Monday.

Edwards repeatedly warned the public Tuesday not to mistake the easing of the mask mandate as a sign that the pandemic is over, hinting that restrictions could return if cases of the deadly virus once again spiral out of control.

“We are not on a one-way street moving away from the pandemic. It is very much a two-way street and we do not want to go in the other direction,” Edwards said. 

Even as he lifted restrictions, Edwards continued to urge the public to … Continue Reading Full Story >>>

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