ULS, La Gov update COVID-19 guidance

The University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Governor’s Office have updated their COVID-19 guidance.

Tuesday, the ULS, of which Louisiana Tech and Grambling State are members, stated that mask requirements are no longer in place. However, the ULS encourages to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status and especially when the individual has an increased risk for severe disease or a weakened immune system or when the individual lives with someone with those factors.

Additionally, yesterday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards extended Louisiana’s COVID public health emergency order to support Louisiana’s response to the pandemic, but without any remaining required mitigation measures.

The Governor’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Health and the CDC still recommend that all people wear masks when they are indoors in public or in a large outdoor crowd while all areas of the state are considered high transmission areas for the coronavirus.

“While we remain in an Omicron-fueled surge, we are definitely on the down swing,” Edwards said. “There is a lot of COVID out there in Louisiana, and fortunately we have many more tools available to us now to prevent severe illness and death including safe and effective vaccines, booster doses, therapeutic interventions, and better quality masks.”

Edwards urged individuals to be aware of their own personal risk against COVID-19 and encouraged vaccines and booster shots.

“While my order does not include any required mitigation measures, it is very important that people continue to take into account their own personal risk of serious illness if they get COVID, including if they are immunocompromised, have comorbid health conditions or are unvaccinated,” Edwards said. “I hope we never go back to the kind of strict mitigation measures needed before the vaccines. I also pray each day that more Louisianans will go sleeves up against COVID and get their vaccines and booster doses, because we know these save lives.

“As we move deeper into the Mardi Gras season and with the continued return of big events and gatherings, people should be aware that the CDC recommends that in communities with high transmission rates, currently all 64 of our parishes, people wear masks in public in crowds, especially indoors. If you got your booster dose today, you could have supercharged immunity by Mardi Gras.”

While masks are not required statewide in Louisiana, there are still federal regulations requiring them in health care settings and on transit. In addition, local governments, school districts and businesses may choose to require masks as they see fit, based on the level of COVID in their communities.

The Governor’s current order expires on March 16, 2022, though he said he might end it before that date. 

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