Gov. Edwards Reinstates Louisiana Mask Mandate Statewide

Gov. Edwards Reinstates Louisiana Mask Mandate Statewide


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Acknowledging that his state is struggling with the ability to vaccinate residents — and against a rising tide of COVID-19 cases — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) has reinstated a mask mandate across the Pelican State.

Louisiana Tuesday reported reported 11,109 cases on 81,000 tests, as well as 1,984 inpatient hospitalizations across the state, and 28 deaths.

“As many of you have already seen by now, our latest numbers further confirm that we simply have to do more,” the second-term governor said.

Louisiana is one of those states with a low vaccination percentage, at just 37.1 percent.

“It is heartbreaking because if you’ve heard me say many times, and I’m sure that you all know this, those are not just numbers. Those are our brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, those are fellow Louisianans who are no longer with us,” the governor said. “And that is heartbreaking. It has become extremely clear that our current recommendations on their own are not strong enough to deal with Louisiana’s fourth surge of COVID.

“In fact, nobody should be laboring under the misapprehension that this is just another surge. We’ve already had three of these. This is the worst one we’ve had thus far. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we will report more hospitalizations than at any other point in the pandemic,” he added. “Case growth per capita is the highest in the country and the second place state is not even close. And the positivity of cases is more than 13 percent. I expect it will grow up again the next time we compute that, and therefore there is nothing on the horizon, no signs on the horizon that things are about to flatten in terms of case growth and so forth and start coming down. So I hope the people across the state of Louisiana will let that sink in just a bit.

“We are the worst in the country in terms of this COVID surge, and that is because of the Delta variant which is a game changer, and the fact that quite frankly not enough people have been vaccinated here in Louisiana,” Edwards said. “So today I am temporarily reinstating the Louisiana statewide mask mandate for all people both vaccinated and unvaccinated when they are indoors and in public. This will be effective Wednesday. I’ve already signed the proclamation but it’s been our recommendation since Friday before last, and I’m asking individuals don’t wait till Wednesday to come into compliance with this.”

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