Louisiana to lift state mask mandate

Louisiana to lift state mask mandate
© Greg Nash

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced Tuesday he is lifting the state’s mask mandate Wednesday.

After sustained improvement across the state in new cases, test positivity & hospitalizations, I will lift Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate in all settings except for K-12 schools, which may opt out as long as they continue implementing existing CDC quarantine guidance,” the governor said in a tweet.

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Louisiana was one of the states hit hardest by the delta variant earlier in the fall, and Edwards implemented the statewide mask mandate toward the end of August.

COVID-19 cases in the state have been on the decline since then, with Louisiana State University announcing earlier in the month it was rescinding its policy to require coronavirus vaccines to go to football games due to the drop in cases.

While Louisiana now has one of the lowest infection rates in the country, according to The Associated Press, the state has one of the lowest vaccination rates as well.

The state has only 47 percent of its residents fully vaccinated against the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

Edwards is keeping the mask mandate in K-12 schools, with schools without masks having to follow strict quarantine guidelines.

Universities and cities such as New Orleans have said they plan to keep their own indoor masking mandates in place despite the lifted statewide order, the AP noted.