As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has imposed a statewide mask mandate and new social distancing measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“If you don't like the mask mandate, then don't like it. But wear your mask anyway,” Edwards said after announcing the new restrictions Saturday afternoon. “I know it's going to be controversial because we've already seen some wild and crazy things said about masks and mask mandates. So be it. It's the right thing to do, it's the essential thing to do."
- All persons 8 years old and older will be required to wear a mask in public.
- The mandate does not apply to anyone consuming food or drink, communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, delivering a speech, and/or anyone with medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering.
- Parishes that have fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 residents may opt out of the mask mandate. Only three of Louisiana’s 64 parishes — Grant, Red River and West Feliciana — currently qualify. The state will reassess parishes’ eligibility every two weeks.
- All bars have been closed.
- Bars with food permits can still offer curbside service.
- According to data released by the Louisiana Department of Health last week, bars have been the site of at least 36 coronavirus outbreaks accounting for 405 new cases.
Gathering Size Limits
- Indoor social gatherings are limited to 50 people.
- The limit does not apply to essential businesses or places of worship, which can continue to operate at 50 percent of their occupancy limit in keeping with Phase 2 regulations.
The new restrictions will remain in effect at least until July 24, but may be extended.
A summary of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ new restrictions can be found here.
And here’s a link to the full proclamation.