NEW ORLEANS — NEW ORLEANS - The mask mandate may be lifted in Louisiana, but there are still places where facial coverings will be enforced. It includes certain K-12 schools. According to the Governor, it all depends on the schools' guidelines for quarantining.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends anyone two years old and up who is inside a school building, wear a mask. They also suggest anyone not fully vaccinated, whose been exposed, to quarantine for 14 days. Even without symptoms, it's recommended the child or person not go back to campus until day 15.
Some school districts though are following a policy not by the CDC, but by State Superintendent of Education, Cade Brumley, who announced last month an asymptomatic child didn't have to quarantine.
However, on Tuesday, Governor John Bel Edwards announced another change, the statewide mask mandate would lift, but with a stipulation.
"It will remain in place for K-12 schools except that school districts and non-public schools can opt-out of the mask mandate but only by following CDC guidance as outlined by the Department of Health with respect to quarantine and isolation," he announced.
In other words, any school following the CDC's COVID-19 exposure recommendations can lose the masks. What that means, is anyone not fully vaccinated, who was less than six feet away from an infected person for at least 15 minutes, must get tested and quarantined. Even if the test is negative, it's best they stay home for two weeks.
There are some who don't need to quarantine. According to the CDC, it includes those who've recovered from COVID-19 and aren't showing symptoms but still test positive. Also, fully vaccinated people, though in both cases, masks must be worn until a negative test.
State officials will re-evaluate the mask mandate in 28 days. If all goes well, the option of masks could continue.
We reached out to Superintendent Brumley, who reacted to the governor's mask announcement. His office sent a statement that says: "This is a step in the right direction of getting students back to normalcy. However, local school systems should be fully entrusted with the ability to implement quarantine procedures meeting the needs of their communities. Louisiana's educators, parents, and students have been heroes over the course of this pandemic. I applaud their continued efforts to overcome extraordinary challenges."