NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana is easing COVID restrictions, but the mask mandate stays.
Right after Governor John Bel Edwards made his announcement, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise called for the economy to completely open up.
Congressman Scalise called it “an encouraging sign” as the state opens up, but he does think Louisiana needs to look at how other states are moving forward. Governor Edwards said every move he’s made during the pandemic is about striking a balance between lives and livelihoods.
“Some of the guidance put out by the White House and the CDC would suggest you don’t loosen any restrictions at this point, but I obviously wasn’t comfortable with that approach,” Edwards said.
Edwards cites mostly positive trends in the state’s virus numbers as he allows most capacity limits to be lifted. Bars could revert back to their pre-pandemic hours if their local government allows.
“If you go to a bar for example, you will still be required to sit at a table,” Edwards said. “Masking will still be required under all circumstances except when people are actively eating or drinking.”
WGNO asked Congressman Scalise if he thinks Edwards should lift the mask mandate.
Scalise said, “Look, I don’t tell Governor Edwards how to do his job. It’s been a tough job for the last year to learn and the science has evolved.”
The Congressman would like to see the CDC come out iwth clearer guidance as more people become vaccinated. Scalise believes Louisiana can learn from other states that have completely re-opened.
“I know Governor Edwards meets with scientist on a regular basis and he has made tough decisions,” Scalise said. “Louisiana is further along than other states and other states are further along than us, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel because there are a lot of examples you can look to.”
Edwards maintains in addition to masking and distancing, vaccines will be the way Louisiana fully returns to normal.