Masks still required in Louisiana's schools, other select locations
BATON ROUGE – Louisiana took one of the last steps toward a pre-COVID normalcy Tuesday as the governor announced sweeping changes to the state’s ongoing health restrictions.
Louisiana has been under some sort of emergency health order restricting various aspects of life since March 2020.
Tuesday, the governor announced the state-wide mask mandate will end and, instead, will be set by local governments. Click HERE to read how area parishes and governments responded with localized orders.
However, the state will require masks at all schools: Early childhood education centers, k-12 campuses and colleges and universities. In addition, masks will still be required at health care facilities, on public transit, and in state government buildings.
Other changes to the state's executive order include the following.
- No capacity restrictions on outdoor events
- Indoor events can host up to 75 percent occupancy or no limit with mask enforcement.
A state-ordered mask mandate has been in place for all of Louisiana for nine months and 15 days as of Tuesday.
The state of Louisiana still recommends following all CDC mask guidelines.
State agencies will be allowed to opt-out of the few mask restrictions remaining in place, though none controlled by the governor’s office (cabinet-level branches such as Department of Health, etc.) did, officials added. Offices controlled by state-wide elected officials could enact specific mask rules.
Businesses and local leaders can enact mask mandates, the governor said.
Most capacity restrictions were already lifted, though those that remain will be adjusted: Indoor events (weddings, sporting events, conferences, etc.) may go to 75-percent occupancy or 100 percent if mask policies are enforced.
Outdoor events do not have capacity restrictions, though the state of Louisiana encourages people in large crowds to wear masks.
Sources told WBRZ, the governor spent Monday and nearly all day Tuesday mulling a decision and the final call came just before a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
Edwards modified the health restrictions as the current modified phase 3 order was scheduled to end Wednesday, four weeks after the governor signed it into effect.
The CDC eased its guidance on masks Tuesday.
See how parishes in the area reacted to the news, here.
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