Aug. 3, 2021 — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards introduced Monday that the statewide indoor masks mandate would restart on Wednesday to fight the latest surge in COVID-19 circumstances and hospitalizations because of the very contagious Delta variant.
The masks mandate will apply to ages 5 and older in indoor public areas, no matter vaccination standing. It would stay in impact till a minimum of Sept. 1.
Edwards lifted the statewide masks mandate in April. On Monday, he pointed to statistics that present Louisiana has the best variety of new COVID-19 circumstances per capita within the nation.
“It has turn out to be extraordinarily clear that our present suggestions on their very own should not sturdy sufficient to cope with Louisiana’s fourth surge of COVID,” he mentioned. “In truth, no person needs to be laboring beneath the misapprehension that that is simply one other surge. That is the worst one we’ve had.”
The announcement got here because the state’s largest hospital — Our Woman of the Lake Medical Heart in Baton Rouge — ran out of beds and known as in a catastrophe medical help staff to assist with the surge in sufferers. COVID-19 hospitalizations have jumped from 36 to 155 sufferers in 2 weeks.
“There are not any beds left,” Catherine O’Neal, MD, the chief medical officer for the hospital, mentioned on Monday.
“These are the darkest days of this pandemic,” she mentioned. “We’re now not giving enough care to those sufferers.”
Edwards famous that circumstances would develop worse within the brief time period and that the state would probably report the best variety of COVID-19 hospitalizations to this point throughout the pandemic on Tuesday. The variety of sufferers is near 2,000, which is 7 instances the variety of sufferers a month in the past, the AP reported.
Edwards and O’Neal urged unvaccinated residents to get a shot to forestall extreme sickness, hospitalization, and loss of life. Louisiana has one of many lowest vaccination charges within the nation, the AP reported, which has allowed the Delta variant to unfold amongst unvaccinated residents. About 43% of the state inhabitants has obtained a minimum of one vaccine dose, and 37% is absolutely vaccinated.
During his presentation, Edwards additionally inspired folks to comply with different precautions, resembling avoiding crowded settings, getting examined after COVID-19 publicity, and dealing remotely when doable.
“We’ve the instruments we have to sluggish the unfold of COVID-19 in our communities and save lives, and I’m pleading with unvaccinated Louisianans to get their shot as quickly as they will to guard themselves,” he mentioned. “We will finish this nightmare, however it will take all of us working collectively to do it.”