Coronavirus COVID-19 computer generated image. (Getty Images)
Gov. John Bel Edwards extended Louisiana’s COVID-19 public health emergency order Wednesday but without a required mask mandate for certain settings. All 64 parishes in the state remain at high risk for transmission of the virus.
Health officials still recommend masks when people are indoors in public or part of a large outdoor crowd.
“While we remain in an Omicron-fueled surge, we are definitely on the down swing,” Edwards said in a statement. “There is a lot of COVID out there in Louisiana, and fortunately we have many more tools available to us now to prevent severe illness and death including safe and effective vaccines, booster doses, therapeutic interventions, and better quality masks.”
Edwards said even without required masks, he urged citizens to take into account their own personal health risks if they contract COVID,
“I hope we never go back to the kind of strict mitigation measures needed before the vaccines,” the governor’s statement said. “I also pray each day that more Louisianans will go sleeves up against COVID and get their vaccines and booster doses, because we know these save lives.
With Mardi Gras season approaching its peak, Edwards passed along the Centers for Disease Control recommendation that people in communities with high transmission rates wear masks in crowds, especially indoors
“If you got your booster dose today, you could have supercharged immunity by Mardi Gras,” he added.
Masks are not required statewide in Louisiana, but federal regulations make them mandatory in health care facilities and on public transit. Private businesses, local governments and public school districts can set their own restrictions as well.
The governor’s current order expires March 16, unless he chooses to end it before that date.
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