Mask mandate returns as Louisiana battles spike in COVID cases
BATON ROUGE - As of Wednesday, the state of Louisiana is under a reinstated mask mandate until the first of September.
The order, issued by Governor John Bel Edwards, requires that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals age five and older wear a face mask that properly covers their mouth and nose at all times when they are indoors, with the exception of when they are in their own home.
Those who are exempt from the mask mandate include:
-Anyone who has a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering
-Anyone who is consuming a drink or food
-Anyone who is trying to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired
-Anyone who is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience
-Anyone temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes
The mandate adds that face coverings are highly encouraged for those ages 2 to 4 as tolerated.
The CDC and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) strongly encourage indoor mask-wearing in public for all children aged two and older, especially as they are not yet eligible for the COVID vaccine.
LDH suggests individuals and families keep the following reminders in mind so as to safely navigate the COVID-10 pandemic:
-If you can do an activity outdoors instead of indoors, do it outdoors
-Follow good hygiene practices (wash your hands vigorously and frequently, and don’t touch your face)
-Stay away from crowded settings
-Work virtually if possible
-If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, get tested immediately
-If you’re in an at-risk group, be extra careful
-Everyone who is sick or who has COVID symptoms should stay home
The reinstated mask mandate comes amid a resurgence in COVID-cases that has overextended Louisiana's hospitals and threatened their ability to deliver appropriate care to patients during this aspect of the pandemic.
As of Wednesday, August 4 a total of 4,725 new virus cases have been reported in Louisiana.
Click here to view the Governor's mask mandate.
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