- Louisiana has reissued a statewide indoor mask mandate as COVID-19 cases surge across the state.
- The mandate, reinstated by Gov. John Bel Edwards, impacts all Louisiana residents over the age of 5.
- Louisiana has the highest rate of new coronavirus cases in the country.
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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards reissued a statewide indoor mask mandate as COVID-19 cases surge across the Bayou State.
“Today, I am reinstating Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate indoors for all people ages 5 & up as COVID-19 cases & hospitalizations continue to rise across Louisiana, threatening the ability of hospitals to deliver care,” the Democratic governor said in a tweet.
At a press briefing announcing the reinstated order, Edwards said, “This is not something that I wanted to do, but Louisiana is not in the place where I want it to be or need it to be and public health and safety compelled this action.”
Edwards added, “I cannot in good conscience sit by while our hospitals lose the capacity to deliver lifesaving care to COVID patients and non-COVID patients alike.”
The mask mandate also applies to K-12 schools, college campuses and other higher education institutions. It will remain in place until at least September 1 and “will be extended if necessary,” Edwards said.
COVID-19 cases, fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, have been rising across the US, especially in Louisiana.
According to federal data, Louisiana – which has become a national coronavirus hotspot – has the highest rate of new cases in the country, with more than 600 new cases per 100,000 residents.
The average daily coronavirus case count in Louisiana is even higher than that of any country in the world, epidemiologist Michael Osterholm said on CNN.
“If Louisiana were a country, it would have the highest rate of [COVID-19] infections in the world,” said Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.