Louisiana—1st State To Reissue Covid Mask Mandate—Extends It For Another Month

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), announced Tuesday that the statewide mandate for masks that he issued in August after lifting in the spring will remain in effect until October 27, because it is necessary to maintain the significant decrease in coronavirus in the state.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), holds his mask that was taken off during his speech on July... [+] 28, 2019. (Travis Spradling/The Advocate via AP and Pool) ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Key Facts

On August 4, Louisiana became the first state in the United States to issue a new mask mandate. This was during a record-breaking Covid spike, when the state was the first to be hit by the surge of the delta variant. According to Johns Hopkins University, new cases peaked at more than 5,800 per day on August 12. However, they have declined rapidly since then and now average about 1,000 per day. Hospitalizations have declined from over 3,000 in mid August to below 1,000. Louisiana saw a drop in deaths from an average of 63 per person per day on September 18 to 24 per per day. No matter what vaccination status, the CDC recommends that everyone wear masks in areas where there is "substantial" and "high" coronavirus transmission. This recommendation applies to all 64 Louisiana parishes. On Wednesday, the mask mandate was due to expire.

Important Quote

"We are encouraged by the fact that trends are moving in the right direction. At a Tuesday news conference, Dr. Joe Kanter from the Louisiana Department of Health stated that it was clear that delta spiked in August. He also said that the trend has been steadily improving since then.

Big Number

7. This is how many states now have statewide mandates for masks. Every state, except Hawaii, lifted the mandates after the CDC issued guidance in spring stating that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks. According to an AARP tracker, 7. Six states reissued mandates were issued: New Mexico, Louisiana, Washington, Nevada and Oregon.

Important Background

According to the Mayo Clinic, Louisiana has one of the lowest rates of vaccination in the country at 45.2%. However, the state is home to some the strictest public Covid restrictions in America. New Orleans was the first U.S. town to require proof that vaccination in order to eat at restaurants, drink in bars, and take part in any other indoor, public activities. LSU, the state's most prestigious university, announced that it will require students to get vaccines after learning that the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccination was approved by FDA. Fans attending football games will also need to show proof of vaccination, making this the most powerful college sport program.

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