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No mask, no más

Edwards partially lifts mandate, urges same precautions
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
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Graphic courtesy of the governor's office

Shown are the places that will still require face coverings following Gov. John Bel Edwards' lifting of the mask mandate that has been in place since July of 2020.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has lifted the statewide COVID-19 mask mandate, though schools, licensed healthcare facilities, public transportation and some government buildings will still require face coverings.

The new order is effective today and goes until May 26.

The order allows local governments and businesses to set their own mask rules but within the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

“Now is the time to lift the mandate (while) continuing to encourage people to wear masks,” Edwards said.

The order also lifts occupancy restrictions on outdoor events, further eases limitations on live music and allows salons to reopen waiting rooms.

Edwards’ announcement, made during a press conference Tuesday in Baton Rouge, came on the same day the CDC unveiled updated guidelines saying fully vaccinated people can safely attend small outdoor gatherings without wearing a mask.

The CDC continues to recommend masks indoors and at large outdoor events.

Louisiana’s mask mandate had been in place since July 13.

Edwards said while lifting the mandate is “not an end to masking,” it is an indication of where Louisiana is at this state in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our baseline numbers continue to be relatively low, basically flat,” Edwards said during the livestreamed news conference.

COVID hospitalizations and deaths among patients age 75 and over are also continuing to decline, Edwards said.

Edwards continue to urge people to wear masks, especially at indoor event and when they’re unsure if everyone, even at an outdoor event, has been vaccinated against the COVID virus.

“We know that masks work. The evidence is clear,” he said.

Some 26% of Louisianans have been fully vaccinated, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. That includes more than 67% of residents age 65 and over.

In Lincoln Parish, LDH shows 23% of residents are fully vaccinated and 28% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.