Politics Louisiana governor encourages all residents to wear masks

04:06  24 july  2021
04:06  24 july  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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Louisiana ’s governor is expected to update the state’s rules aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. It’s how we’re going to be able to take off our masks and get back to normal, but it depends on getting We know that’s happening across the state, the governor said, adding that cancelations and (KLFY) Thousands of Louisiana residents who participated in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Louisiana has completed 257,535 tests in the month of June. Gov. Edwards said, “We have watched with concern as cases continue to rise in Louisiana , which is why we are pausing the state in Phase Two for now. Data from the last three days makes it crystal clear that Louisiana is not ready to move to Phase Three just yet. Our plan is to watch the daily trends and then to do another deep dive into the data in 14 days to determine if things are improving or getting worse, so we can make a plan for our future.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) on Friday released updated guidance urging residents to wear masks indoors when social distancing is not possible as the state sees thousands of new COVID-19 cases each day due in part to the highly transmissible delta variant.

John Bel Edwards wearing a suit and tie: Louisiana governor encourages all residents to wear masks © Getty Louisiana governor encourages all residents to wear masks

Edwards said in a press release that the updated recommendations were made in consultation with the Louisiana Department of Health due to the rapid rise in infections and hospitalizations, as well as notification from the White House that Louisiana had been labeled a "state of concern," with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

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He encouraged Louisianans to take these next two weeks to adjust to “a new normal.” Click here to view the Governor ’s presentation on regional data trends. Under the extended order, which will be issued on Friday, May 1, businesses that previously were directed to be closed will remain closed, including salons, barber shops, bars and casinos, among other things. He’s acted more cautiously than some other Southern governors . Instead, he’s warned Louisiana residents to expect to wear masks when near others, to continue to remain distanced and to have limits on public gatherings.

The governors of several states have announced changes in COVID-19 restrictions since the Biden administration's vaccination plan spurred a mass vaccination effort, USA TODAY has reported. In a decision President Joe Biden called "a big mistake," five states have rolled back mask mandates in the past Brian Kemp strongly encouraged all Georgia residents to " wear face coverings as practicable while outside their homes or place of residence , except when eating, drinking or exercising outdoors" in an Aug. 15 revision of an executive order issued last March. But Georgia does not have a statewide

Friday's guidelines say that all residents should wear masks as an extra layer of protection, regardless of their vaccination status.

The health department recommended that businesses "review their operations to accommodate employees in a way that reduces unnecessary contact to avoid the spread of COVID in the workplace."

State health officials also said that anyone who has had a known or suspected exposure to an infected individual should "immediately" take a COVID-19 test and should promptly isolate if they test positive.

Edwards stopped short of issuing a statewide mask mandate or specific restrictions on gatherings and businesses.

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All residents over age 2 must wear masks or face coverings when they're in public and social distancing isn't possible (though maintaining at least six feet of distance is always preferred). Now that the CDC is recommending the public wear masks , governors must clarify if and how mask bans will be enforced. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp temporarily suspended the law upon urging from state and local officials. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall told residents to ignore the law for now, though both laws will likely enter effect again when state emergency orders are lifted..

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has prohibited cities from forcing residents to wear masks in public, voiding requirements put in place by some local governments. The move led to one mayor hurling incendiary accusations at Kemp. The ban on mandatory face coverings was part of a new executive order which extended state measures purportedly put in place to fight the spread of coronavirus. Although Kemp has encouraged voluntary mask - wearing , his order made it clear that cities and counties could not coerce people into donning a face covering.

The governor said in a statement Friday that Louisiana leads the country in case growth, attributing this to the delta variant and the low pace of vaccinations.

"This should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched our case counts and hospitalizations continue to climb, and it necessitates additional guidance for how all people should stay safe in Louisiana right now," he wrote.

"Right now, Louisiana has the best tool it has ever had to fight this surge: the COVID-19 vaccines," he continued, adding that while the weekly vaccination rate has increased, "We need even more people in our state to go sleeves up and take the COVID-19 vaccine."

"Increased vaccinations, when coupled with more masking, testing and distance, can get us out of the fourth surge, but only if people take action quickly," he added.

As of Friday, about 41 percent of Louisiana residents had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with only 36 percent fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are in a very dangerous surge right now," Louisiana's state health officer, Joseph Kanter, said in a statement.

"To ensure their own safety people in Louisiana should take precautions immediately. Masking and testing will limit death and suffering until we make it through this," he added.

The governor's announcement comes after New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) tweeted Wednesday that she was recommending "everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask indoors when with people who are not in their immediate household."

Florida breaks record with more than 21,000 new COVID cases .
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health data released Saturday, as its theme park resorts again started asking visitors to wear masks indoors. The state has become the new national epicenter for the virus, accounting for around a fifth of all new cases in the U.S. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted mandatory mask mandates and vaccine requirements, and along with the state Legislature, has limited local officials’ ability to impose restrictions meant to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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