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Public Health

Masks Are Still Required In New Orleans, But Not In Neighboring Parishes

Ben Depp

Despite a statewide lift of the mask mandate in Louisiana, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city is still requiring people to wear masks whenever they are in public.

Cantrell stressed the need for the city to reach herd immunity from the coronavirus. More than 40 percent of New Orleanians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Roughly 35 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. Herd immunity comes when that number reaches 75 percent.

New Orleans COVID-19 test percent positivity rate remains low at 0.8 percent. But the COVID-19 New Orleans dashboard is reporting an infection rate of 1.03 percent. When the infection rate is greater than 1, the risk of transmission rises greatly.

On Tuesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a partial lift of the state-wide mandate. Masks are still required in K-12 schools, on higher education campuses, on public transportation, in healthcare facilities and in state government buildings.

Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and Lafourche parishes, which surround Orleans Parish, have changed their masking guidelines to meet the state’s.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, Mayor-President Sharon Weston-Broome has lifted the mask mandate. A spokesperson for Louisiana State University told the Advocate that it would open its outdoor stadiums at 100 percent capacity starting this weekend and will not require masks to be worn.

Recently released guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say fully vaccinated people do not need to wear face coverings when outdoors, unless they are in a large crowd.

At least 32 percent of Louisiana residents have received one dose or more of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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