BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s considering implementing a new mask mandate as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Louisiana.
About 1.9 million Louisianans have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine but Edwards says that number is not high enough. In the last 7 days, Louisiana Health Department has reported 5,313 new COVID cases and 31 new deaths, which is the highest death rate since March 10.
Louisiana is the leading nation in the number of new COVID cases per capita and remains one of the bottom 5 states in administering vaccinations.
“The Delta variant is a game-changer, it is much more transmissible, and we have to change our approach,” said Edwards.
In the news conference last week, Governor Edwards noted that COVID-19 cases have been rising since mid-June, and Louisiana has the highest growth in cases per capita in the nation.
Edwards updated the COVID-19 guidance to add that all people should wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. Also, if you think you have been exposed, you should get tested, and if those results come back negative, get tested again five to seven days later to verify the results.
Hospitals across the state have reintroduced restrictions for visitation in response to the rise in cases. Just yesterday, Baton Rouge hospitals surpassed last year’s record of COVID cases, despite health experts saying there’s been an increase in people getting vaccinated.
Governor Edwards says he received reports from numerous healthcare entities to determine if he wants to reinstate the statewide mask mandate. He encourages all Louisianans to wear a mask while indoors or if they are unable to keep at least 6 feet of social distancing.
Watch the full press conference above.