BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana’s current mask mandate will be staying in place.

Governor John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday that he’s extending the mask mandate for another 28 days.

During the briefing, Edwards reported that Louisiana has dipped under one-thousands COVID-19 patients in the hospital since July. Unfortunately, there is still a high amount of COVID-19 in all 64 parishes.

“We are moving in the right direction but our baseline numbers are far too high,” said Edwards.

Gov. Edwards announced that he will be extending the statewide mask mandate for another 28 days, which includes K-12 schools and college campuses. Due to the landfall of Hurricane Ida and the recovery process, Edwards says it has hindered the COVID-19 testing because Louisianans have been temporarily displaced.

“The amount of COVID in Louisiana is still incredibly high, at 243 cases for every 100,000 people, as it is disproportionately driven by transmission in those five to 18 years old. This is why to support continued decreases in COVID-19 hospitalizations, cases, and deaths, I am extending Louisiana’s statewide indoor mask mandate for another four weeks, including in our K-12 schools and on college campuses,” said Edwards.

Edwards says that masks have been proven to help slow the spread of COVID-19, with recent federal data from the Centers for Disease Control showing that schools without masking requirements are 3.5 times more likely to have a COVID-19 outbreak than schools where children and staff members are masked.

LDH reported that Louisiana had 54 new COVID-19 deaths since Monday, nearing the statewide total to 14,000.

Dr. Joe Kanter says hospitals remain busy with COVID-19 patients. He says that masking is very important as the transmissible rates remain high. Louisiana has recently seen a spike COVID-19 in pregnancies, more than 15 months ago before the Delta variant.

Kanter said there have been seven pediatric deaths within this Delta surge, 14 total during the course of the coronavirus pandemic. All of the pediatric deaths were unvaccinated individuals.

“These are tragic, heartbreaking cases, unfortunately, all these cases involved a pregnant woman who were unvaccinated,” said Dr. Kanter.

Dr. Kanter says that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for pregnant women, its highly beneficial for passing along antibodies to the unborn child to decrease their risk of contracting the virus.

The booster COVID-19 shot is different from getting a third COVID-19 shot.

If you got Pfizer and you received your second dose at least 6 months ago, you are now eligible to received the Pfizer booster dose.

You are eligible to receive a Booster dose if:

  • you are 65 years or older
  • 18 years or older with an underlying medical condition
  • live or work in an environment that puts you at a high risk to contract the virus

If you have questions regarding if the booster dose is right for you, Dr. Kanter says to consult with your doctor before receiving the booster. You will not be required to show any form of proof of employment or medical health history to receive the booster.

Last week Governor Edwards traveled to Washington D.C. to personally push for emergency aid following Hurricane Ida and the lingering impacts from the 2020 hurricanes that hit Louisiana. Edwards says he spoke with President Biden about not only recovering from Hurricane Ida, but also Hurricane Laura and Delta. He stressed the specific needs for housing for residents and recovery funding.