Today, as Louisiana surpassed 100,000 known COVID-19 cases, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a renewal of the current proclamation extending Phase Two in the state, which includes the statewide mask mandate and additional restrictions, until August 7.
“Today, we are reporting 2,408 new cases, which means that the state has now surpassed 100,00 total cases. And of course, these are only the cases we know about. There are undoubtedly more,” Gov. Edwards said. “When you hit a milestone like this one and when you see death totals that are higher than they’ve been in months, as we did yesterday, it’s a reality check.”
“For anyone out there minimizing the seriousness of this situation, you are doing yourself and this state a terrible disservice. The same is true for anyone questioning the validity of the data that we’re using and releasing every day,” Gov. Edwards said. “COVID-19 is very prevalent throughout our state, and it is more widespread than ever before. We are certainly not where we want to be in Louisiana. I’ve extended Phase 2 with the mask mandate and other restrictions, but we are perilously close to having to make tough decisions that no one wants. This is why we have to follow the mitigation measures that are in place. We have to wear our masks, keep social distance, wash our hands frequently and stay home when we are feeling sick.”
The statewide mask mandate applies to all 64 parishes in Louisiana. However, parishes with a COVID-19 incidence of fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 people for the most recent two-week period for which data is available can choose to opt out of the mandate. Under the state’s policy, parish presidents in parishes with lower incidence rates do not have to opt out and may choose to keep a mask mandate in place.
The Louisiana Department of Health updates its incidence data every other week and at this time, no Louisiana parish meets the standard to opt out of the current mask mandate.