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People's Daily Online

U.S. Louisiana lifts statewide mask mandate

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 08:39, April 28, 2021

HOUSTON, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The statewide mask mandate in the U.S. state of Louisiana will be lifted on Wednesday, governor John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday.

"Following sustained improvement in COVID hospitalizations and an increase in the supply and availability of vaccines, some mitigation measures will be eased starting April 28. The statewide mask mandate will be lifted but masks will still be required for specific settings," the governor tweeted.

According to an order issued by the Louisiana Department of Health, masks will still be required at kindergartens, primary schools, middle schools and high schools, early childhood education centers, colleges and universities, hospitals and nursing homes.

Also, private businesses and local governments can set their own face covering restrictions.

The loosened restrictions came hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that fully vaccinated or not, people can safely go maskless outdoors when they walk, bike or run alone or with members of their household.

Louisiana first implemented the mask mandate in July 2020, after a summer surge in COVID-19 cases nudged the governor toward more stringent restrictions.

Official figures showed that Louisiana reported 433 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 456,884. There were 10 additional deaths, bringing the total to 10,352. The state said that over 1.2 million people, or over a quarter of its population, have been fully vaccinated.

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