UPDATE: Governor Edwards says keeping the mask mandate in place is the safest option for Louisiana


UPDATE: WEST MONROE, LA. (KTVE/KARD)– More than 30 Louisiana lawmakers are calling for Governor Edwards to end the mask mandate and ​drop COVID-19 restrictions.

Our neighboring states, Texas and Mississippi have recently done away with their mask mandates. Lawmakers said it was because of this that they felt the need to bring this to the governor. Governor Edwards said he is not worried about what other states do, but rather what is the safest option for Louisiana.

“I know the data that we have in Louisiana. I consult with epidemiologists and scientists and our team at the department of health and, especially the office of public health, and my estimation here in Louisiana now is the wrong time to remove the mask mandate and that is because the next several weeks are critical to our overall success,” Edwards said.

Governor Edwards said right now Louisiana is on the right path to ending the pandemic, so there’s no need to change what is currently in place.

“And I do hope that in the not too distant future we are going to be in a position where we can safely take the mask off and take the mandate off, but I’m not going to do that until that is coming from epidemiologists and public health experts, not just because of politics,” Edwards said.

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)– More than 30 Louisiana lawmakers are calling for Governor Edwards to end the mask mandate and ​drop COVID-19 restrictions.

Thirty-three Republican legislators sent a letter to the governor saying in part, “With access to vaccinations on the rise, hospitalizations on the decline, and a variety of better treatment options, now is time to end the mandates.”

Their biggest concern is the unprecedented loss for local businesses.

“Some of these folks are on the last thread of their surviving this pandemic,” State Representative Rick Edmonds said.

Edmonds is leading this fight and says he was influenced by the governors of Texas and Mississippi who reopened both states this week.

“We have a commitment to the citizens of Louisiana to get them back to work, get them back to school, get them back at church, get them back at their community activities,” Edmonds said.

A spokesperson for the governor released a statement saying, “Gov. Edwards hasn’t read the letter, but he has consistently relied on recommendations from the CDC, LDH, and other medical experts- none of whom have recommended removing the mask mandate.”

State Representative Ted James (D) says removing the mask mandate would be dangerous.

“We still have numerous people in our community impacted, and although the vaccine has started to roll out, we know we are nowhere near getting the vaccine to [all] people in the community,” James said.

Among the nearly 10,000 residents who died from the virus were congressman-elect Luke Letlow and former State Representative and mayoral runner-up, Steve Carter. James says reopening the state is insulting.

“This is not how you honor their lives by prematurely putting other lives at risk.”

This isn’t the first time Edwards has had to battle his republican legislature. Months ago, Edwards sued the Louisiana House of Representatives to defend the coronavirus rules they were attempting to throw out.


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