Louisiana's mask mandate will remain in effect an additional 28 days, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday.
“There is no doubt that our COVID-19 situation in Louisiana has improved since the peak of our fourth surge, which was largely driven by the Delta variant, and for that I am deeply grateful,” said Gov. Edwards. “Even so, the amount of COVID in Louisiana is still incredibly high, at 243 cases for every 100,000 people, as it is disproportionately driven by transmission in those five to 18 years old. This is why to support continued decreases in COVID-19 hospitalizations, cases and deaths, I am extending Louisiana’s statewide indoor mask mandate for another four weeks, including in our K-12 schools and on college campuses."
Edwards also told reporters that Louisiana's coronavirus vaccination rate is getting higher, with over 45% of the state fully vaccinated, up 8% from early August. The governor still wants the vaccination rate to rise in hopes of protecting communities from the virus.
The state Health Department says those who are not fully vaccinated account for 85% of current hospitalizations.
“Our COVID-19 indicators continue to move in the right direction and that is critical, but we are still wading in COVID,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, State Health Officer at the Louisiana Department of Health. “All 64 parishes are currently at the highest possible level on our community risk scale. With the highly transmissible Delta variant circulating throughout the state, masking indoors is how we stay safe and protect our loved ones.”