BREAKING NEWS Lafayette Police searching for armed robbery suspect near Doiron Drive Full Story
SEVERE WX : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts

Governor John Bel Edwards Ends Mask Mandate, Except at Some Schools

Photo Courtesy of MGN

Gov. John Bel Edwards is largely ending Louisiana’s nearly three-month-old indoor mask mandate since the state has emerged from its latest coronavirus spike and is seeing lower rates of COVID-19 infection.

Posted: Oct 26, 2021 11:11 AM
Updated: Oct 26, 2021 3:54 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards is largely ending Louisiana’s nearly three-month-old indoor mask mandate since the state has emerged from its latest coronavirus spike and is seeing lower rates of COVID-19 infection.

The Democratic governor is lifting the mask requirement for grocery stores, restaurants, bars, retailers, colleges and other sites.

But he’s keeping face-covering rules for Louisiana’s K-12 schools. School districts that maintain tight quarantine regulations for students who come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 won’t be required to have a mask mandate.

The Governor’s updated order allows school districts to opt out of the mask mandate as long as they continue to follow the existing quarantine guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better separate exposed students and faculty members from others and avoid outbreaks on campus.

But those that don’t require all exposed students to be sent home will have to keep students and staff masked up.

Click here to read the executive order.

Click here to view gating criteria slides.

SCHOOL AND GENERAL QUARANTINE GUIDANCE

Under the CDC and LDH guidance that schools without mask mandates must follow, asymptomatic individuals who may have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone infected with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) to someone infected with COVID-19 should quarantine.

Under the following criteria quarantine is not necessary:

Individuals who are fully vaccinated at the time of exposure and remain asymptomatic
Individuals who previously tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days and remain asymptomatic
If both the positive case and the contact were masked AND were ≥ 3 feet of each other and remain asymptomatic (only applies to students in structured K-12 settings)

Duration: The standard length is 14 days; however, schools can choose to use shortened quarantine options.

Options to shorten quarantine include:

If no symptoms develop during quarantine AND they have a negative antigen or PCR/molecular test collected on day 5, 6, or 7 after last exposure: they may quarantine for 7 days from last contact with a COVID-19 case OR
If no symptoms develop during quarantine and no testing is done: they may quarantine for 10 days from last contact with a COVID-19 case

At this time, the CDC advises that fully vaccinated individuals who are not experiencing COVID symptoms do not need to quarantine following an exposure to COVID-19, and LDH is not yet altering this guidance.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, even those who are fully vaccinated or without a known exposure, should get tested.

Anyone who tests positive should immediately isolate. Isolation (for those who test positive for COVID-19) typically consists of:

If symptomatic, at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, symptoms are improving, and at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication
If asymptomatic but with a positive test, 10 days from the time the test sample was collected

Call 211 to find a COVID-19 testing site near you.

Lafayette
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 74°
New Iberia
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 73°
Ville Platte
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 82°
Abbeville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 72°
Crowley
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 76°
St. Martinville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 73°
Opelousas
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 82°
Turning Wet Next Week

Community Events