Louisiana’s statewide indoor mask mandate goes into effect

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:35 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 6:28 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The statewide indoor mask mandate, which Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced he was reinstating earlier this week in an effort to stop the fourth surge of COVID-19, goes into effect Wednesday, Aug. 4.

The mask mandate applies to all people age five and older and will remain in effect until at least Sept. 1. However, the governor said he would extend it if necessary.

RELATED: Stretched to the max, nurses in need of reinforcements as La. breaks COVID-19 hospitalization record

Gov. Edwards made the announcement Monday, Aug. 2 during a news conference about the state’s rising number of COVID cases and hospitalizations driven by the Delta variant of the virus.

The governor and Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) said the fourth surge of the virus was pushing the state’s hospitals to the limit.

Louisiana surpassed its record for hospitalized COVID-19 patients on Wednesday, Aug. 3 when LDH reported 2,112 patients statewide. The previous record of 2,069 hospitalized patients was set on Jan. 7.

“The data in Louisiana clearly point to the severity of our situation, and the urgency to act now,” said Dr. Kanter said Monday. “Over the weekend we reviewed new data from the CDC showing that while vaccination reduces one’s chance of becoming infected with COVID-19, those who do become infected with the Delta variant despite being fully vaccinated are likely at risk of transmitting it to others. This new information and other recent data showing the Delta variant is more than twice as transmissible as the original strains of COVID-19 bolster our recommendation to the Governor to put a universal mask mandate in place immediately.”

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