Edwards Announces Decision on Statewide Mask Mandate
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has announced he is lifting the statewide indoor mask mandate but with a couple of caveats.
K-12 Schools: If they follow the CDC's quarantine policy, they can opt-out of Governor Edwards' mask mandate. If they don't follow the policy, then Edwards says they have to wear masks.
The Lafayette Parish School System reacted to the news by announcing via press release that masks will now be optional and will not be required in the school district for students and staff.
Edwards made it clear that he believes that masks are effective, especially in dealing with children.
We have made tremendous progress and I have no doubt that reinstating the mask mandate was a key to this.
The governor reinstated the statewide mask mandate in August when the Delta variant began driving up hospitalizations once again.
Speaking of LSU, their Media Relations Director announced they will continue to implement the indoor mask mandate on campus.
Masks will still be mandated by federal regulation, including on mass transit and in health care facilities. They will not be mandated in most places, including government buildings, college and university campuses, and businesses.
Edwards says local governments and private businesses will be allowed to continue to require and enforce mask requirements under this order.
“Today, I am cautiously optimistic and very relieved that the worst of this fourth surge of COVID is clearly behind us, which is a direct result of the people of Louisiana who stepped up to the plate when we needed them to and put their masks back on, got vaccinated, and took extra precautions to stay safe. That’s why we are able to lift the statewide mask mandate,” said Gov. Edwards. “While the K-12 mask mandate will be in place, school districts can opt-out if they follow the existing, evidence-based CDC quarantine guidance. This new order does offer a way for local leaders to end the school mask mandate if they so choose. Let me be clear – Louisiana has been a leader in bringing students safely back into the classroom. And they have done that by following public health guidance including on masking and quarantine. Public health experts and I encourage schools to stay that course. But because case numbers are going down and have reached a new baseline I do believe it’s an appropriate time to give schools more autonomy. It’s not lost on me that while Louisiana has seen 18 children die of COVID, half of those deaths came in the last three months, as the much more contagious Delta variant surged throughout our state.”
The current statewide mask mandate expires on Wednesday, October 27.
One thing to point out is that this next order will only cover 28 days and is set to expire the week of Thanksgiving.
Gov. Edwards and State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter continued to encourage Louisiana residents to get the vaccine and/or the booster shots.
You can read more information on the vaccine below:
Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
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