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Gov. Edwards extends state mask mandate

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Gov. John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards extends the statewide mask mandate during a news conference Friday, Aug. 27.

“It will be the exact same mandate that we currently have in place. We know that these mitigation measures work. We know that the vaccines are safe and effective,” said Edwards.

Edwards noted that two weeks after the current mask mandate was put into place, he has started to see some improvement in the data.

“Even with these improvements, we are still much worse off than we ever were in our first three surges. None of the gains that we have made are irreversible,” said Edwards.

The mask mandate was originally scheduled to expire on Sept. 1. It is now extended through the month of September.

During the news conference, Edwards also warned Louisiana residents of the impending threat of Hurricane Ida.

“The storm is ahead of schedule,” Edwards said. “Now is the time to finish your preparations, and I want to encourage everyone that by nightfall tomorrow, you need to be where you intend to be to ride out the storm.”

Edwards also said that the entirety of the Louisiana National Guard – some 5,000 personnel – have been activated to respond to the storm.

Benjamin Schott, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in New Orleans, warned that Hurricane Ida will be “stronger than Hurricane Laura” and will be a “life altering event.”

Hurricane Ida is predicted to make landfall Sunday on the state’s southeastern coast as a Category 4 hurricane.

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