Following months of improvement in COVID-19 hospitalizations and with nearly three million vaccine doses administered, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday signed an updated public health emergency order that removes all remaining business capacity restrictions and the vast majority of masking requirements. This week, Louisiana hit its lowest level of COVID-19 hospitalizations since the very early days of the pandemic.
“For nearly 15 months, Louisiana has operated under necessary public health restrictions designed to save lives by slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Edwards said. “Thanks to the wide availability of vaccines and the 1.4 million Louisianans who already have gone sleeves up and after hitting a new low in hospitalizations, the order I have signed today contains the fewest state-mandated restrictions ever.” The Governor’s announcement came during a live news conference carried by social media.
Masks will be required in educational settings until the end of the current academic semester at which time state and local oversight boards will set their own masking policies.
Under order of the State Health Officer, masks continue to be required in healthcare settings, which is a federal mandate. In addition, masks are required on public transportation and in jails and prisons, as per federal guidance.
Local governments and businesses may choose to have stronger restrictions than the state does and the Governor encourages Louisianans to respect all local or business mandates, especially when it comes to masking.