Gov. Edwards ‘seriously considering’ mask mandate as Covid cases increase

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – As the number of new Covid-19 cases grows, state officials are considering another mask mandate.

Governor John Bel Edwards is encouraging people to wear masks after a new report shows hospitals are becoming overwhelmed once again.

“I understand that people don’t want to wear a mask, but have you seen the people in the hospitals struggling to breathe? Have you watched the testimonies given just this week in Louisiana in our hospitals by doctors and nurses and patients themselves?” asked Edwards.

As a result of the staggering data, the governor is now considering going back to mitigation efforts the state implemented in the early stages of the pandemic.

“I have received over the last 24 hours or so numerous requests from hospitals and health care organizations and other entities to reinstate a state-wide mask mandate. This is something I am really considering,” said Edwards.

The data shows Louisiana leads the nation when it comes to new Covid cases per capita.

“It’s unbelievable to be back where they are right now. Literal shock and I think some disbelief too, and it’s not an over-exaggeration to say it is bad now as it has been at any point in the pandemic,” said the State Health Officer for the Louisiana Department of Health Dr. Joe Kanter.

The state recorded more than 21,000 new infections, the highest number of new confirmed cases on record since the pandemic began.

“What’s scarier than that is that the trajectory really has not shown any signs of slowing,” said Kanter.

The governor said the data is staggering, but before he rushes to a decision he wants the input of state health leaders.

“When the facts change, you have to change, but the facts remain this: the vaccine is the most important tool to protect your health and the mask is the most important tool to protect transmission,” said Gov. Edwards.

He said he will spend his weekend looking at the data and a decision on reinstating a mask mandate can come as early as Monday.

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