During his press conference on April 27, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an order to amend the statewide mask mandate, allowing local governments to decide if they want to dismiss or enforce the mask requirements.
With the vaccination being available and the most effective method of use in the fight against COVID, Edwards feels lifting the mask mandate will prompt Louisianans to take the vaccinations,
Joey Roberts, Covington City Councilman of District C, says, “Because the vaccination has been out long enough to reach everyone that wishes to get it. Before there were no options… now there is. If you choose to not be vaccinated, that is completely up to you.”
Roberts also spoke about him overhearing that CV19 is a cold-weather virus from the media, based on the majority of vaccinations happening in the spring. “By the time we hit fall/winter, not only will we see the opportunity to spread again, but we may also see if the vaccinations are continuing to work over 6 months and to what severity will vaccinated people fall ill. Those that wish to not be vaccinated be one susceptible all over again.” Roberts said.
Even though the mask mandate has been amended, wearing a mask is still a requirement for schools, public transportation, state and local government-owned buildings, health care facilities and private businesses.
Christian Burton, a Tangipahoa resident, says, “I think we have to move things along slowly but there has to come a point where the mandate is lifted as we attempt to get the country as close to Pre-Covid norms as we can. We have to start somewhere.” Burton talked about how with lifting restrictions, local businesses should thrive, and their financial state should steadily recover towards Pre-COVID standards.
There is no longer a capacity limit for outdoor events. However, an indoor event can operate from 75 percent capacity with social distancing to 100 percent capacity while enforcing masks.
Wesley Ennis, a student at Southeastern, says, “Hopefully, all is well due to the fact that the vaccination rollout has been expedited and more people are getting vaccinated. The more people that can receive the vaccine the more we can look towards the end of this pandemic.”
Following the press conference, some parishes are already lifting their mask mandates. Citizens expect more to follow.
The state still recommends and encourages Louisianans to wear masks.