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St. Tammany to require masks in government buildings

The move comes after the parish saw more than 500 new cases over the weekend.

COVINGTON, La. — After a weekend that saw more than 500 new COVID cases in the parish, St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper has announced mask mandates in government buildings in the parish.

Starting Tuesday, July 27, everyone who enters a parish government building will be required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. In addition, all parish government employees, who have not been vaccinated, will be required to wear a mas indoors. Vaccinated employees are encouraged, but not required to do the same.

“We are without a doubt in a fourth surge right now,” said Cooper. “We are strongly encouraging all Parish employees and citizens to become vaccinated as we limit the spread of this pandemic. Our Parish has made remarkable strides in fighting COVID and related restrictions, especially when it comes to balancing safety and economy. Let’s take our efforts to the next level, together.”

On Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health revealed 509 cases were reported in St. Tammany for the July 24-26 weekend, which is the largest amount of COVID cases in one weekend in St. Tammany.

St. Tammany currently has a 42 percent vaccination rate. Cooper said hospitals in the parish are reporting the overwhelming majority of hospitalizations are in unvaccinated people.

Louisiana saw a jump of more than 7,500 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, according to new data released Monday by the Louisiana Department of Health. 

The state reported 7,592 new cases and 14 new deaths since Friday numbers were released.

Numbers released Monday include data from several days over the weekend, meaning they are higher than most days. Still, the trend isn't positive for the state, which is on the upswing of a fourth wave of coronavirus cases. 

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