No plans to ease COVID restrictions, Edwards says

Staff Report

The state will continue on the same level of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions with no immediate plans to end the regulations and mandates in place, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards

A new proclamation will take effect Friday, two weeks after Edwards extended current mandate, which added the statewide requirement on face covering. The latest spike in cases has put Louisiana at the top in the nation on the number coronavirus cases per capita.

Louisiana’s pattern on cases has remained unchanged, he said.

“We’re sort of settled in where we are,” Edwards said. “The mask mandate is part of a new normal, and I think people need to continue with that, and it remains a very small price to pay to protect the health of our neighbors and our loved ones, and to protect your health, as well.”

The spike in cases in the 18-29 age bracket has triggered much of the spike, according to Dr. G.E. Ghali, Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport said.

“I do believe that the older populations are the ones listening the most about the mask – younger populations are not,” he said. “We’re seeing an increase in the 29 and under group, and I have no reason to disagree with that because that’s the group being most affected right now by COVID-19.”

Residents should not expect the restrictions to change as long as the numbers remain high, even if it stays in a static pattern, he said.

“We need the decrease to continue over a number of days rather than just be temporary, but anywhere we can get good news, we will take it,” Edwards said.

The statewide case trend may mark the beginning of a plateau, but the high level remains a dire concern to Edwards and healthcare officials.

He said it could take some time before the state death toll shows a substantial decrease.