Governor Edwards Should End Mask Mandate Next Week
During his weekly radio show, Governor John Bel Edwards indicated that he might be ready to relax the state's COVID-19 mask mandate guidelines.
The Louisiana Department of Health has been reporting substantially lower COVID numbers recently, especially compared to the days when Governor Edwards issued the new mask mandate.
Just yesterday, on October 20th, the state reported just 323 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the entire state. Hospitalizations also dropped to 380, and reduction of 19 patients overnight. In August, the state was reporting a 7-day rolling average of more than 4,000 cases a day. Currently, the state's 7-day rolling average of new cases is just over 324 daily.
If the Governor does make a change to the state's policy, it will likely come during a press conference Tuesday or Wednesday. However it may not be a blanket lifting of the policy.
Likely the Governor will keep masks in place in schools at a minimum. He could keep them in place for state government buildings as well. But it would be realistic to expect him to removed the requirements for most businesses and restaurants.
Keeping mask mandates in place inside schools will likely cause more pushback than the lifting of other mandates would bring good will. The fights over masks in schools has been fierce, and on-going since the summer. At points, it even felt like the fight over mask mandates in school overshadowed mask mandates in bars, gyms, restaurants, and businesses.