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Louisiana governor lifts mask mandate for most state buildings

Edwards said the state’s new mask policy comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance.

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a new executive order lifting the state’s mask mandate in state buildings.

Speaking at the annual Governor's WestBank Luncheon, Edwards said there will be a few exceptions to lifting the mask mandate. Masks will still be required in nursing homes, prisons, public transit, and K-12 schools. Businesses can make their own decisions on whether to require face coverings.

Edwards said the state’s new mask policy comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances.

The guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.

The new guidance is likely to open the door to confusion since there is no surefire way for businesses or others to distinguish between those who are fully vaccinated and those who are not.

Edward's latest coronavirus restriction proclamation is set to expire on May 26. 

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.