New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Wednesday the citywide mask mandate will be lifted for most public spaces effective Friday, October 29.
The announcement comes after Gov. John Bel Edwards suspended the state's mask mandate, with the exception of some K-12 schools.
Similarly, the New Orleans mandate will remain in place for all K-12 schools and healthcare facilities throughout Orleans Parish. Masks will also be required for use of public transportation as detailed in the federal guidelines, for all residents ages 2 and older. COVID-19 mitigation measures implemented for certain businesses requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry announced in August, will remain in place with one minor adjustment; to include proof of either a PCR or antigen test for all indoor activities.
For several weeks, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths drastically decreased due to the City's more stringent mitigation measures, strong vaccine rates, and indoor proof of vaccination and negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours for entry required for all businesses and other facilities previously implemented. The New Orleans Health Department (NOHD) encourages residents to continue to wear masks in public indoor spaces – especially when social distancing is not possible as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
"The indoor mask mandate that was in place over the past several months helped us reduce the surge in cases we saw due to the Delta variant," said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Director of NOHD. "Even though the numbers are currently low, we must remind our residents that this pandemic is not over and remains dangerous for all that may come in contact with the virus."
The mask mandate was reinstated to slow the spread of the virus on July 30th following the devastating surge of new COVID-19 Delta variant cases and hospitalizations statewide. Currently, the City of New Orleans reports that 60.3 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated, and 75.6 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.
For more information regarding COVID-19 updates, restrictions, and vaccination calendar visit https://ready.nola.gov/home/.
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