By Message staff
BATON ROUGE, La. (LBM) – Ten days after Gov. John Bel Edwards strongly advised Louisianans to wear a mask indoors, he has issued an order requiring them in the fight against COVID-19.
Edwards, during a news conference on Monday, Aug. 2, cited a continued rise in new cases of the coronavirus and hospitalizations.
The new order, which goes into effect Wednesday, Aug. 4 and is set to expire Sept. 1, applies to those five years of age and older and must be worn in all buildings. The full mandate can be found at https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/Proclamations/2021/137JBE2021StateofEmergency.pdf.
“It is heartbreaking,” Edwards said. “Those are not just numbers. Those are our brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles. Those are fellow Louisianans who are longer with us. And that is heartbreaking.
“It has become extremely clear that our current recommendations on their own are not strong enough to deal with Louisiana’s fourth surge of COVID,” he continued. “In fact, nobody should be laboring under the misapprehension that this is just another surge. We’ve already had three of these. This is the worst one we’ve had thus far.”
The Louisiana Department of Health reported, August 2, that there have been 11,109 new cases of the coronavirus and 28 deaths since Friday, July 30, bringing the overall statewide totals to 552,787 cases, and 11,026 deaths. The department said 1,984 COVID patients were hospitalized, with 213 requiring the assistance of ventilators.