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Volume XII, Number 27

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Louisiana and Orleans Lift Their Mask Mandates, Except for Students Subject to Opt-Out Procedures

Mask mandates, with certain exceptions, are ending in Louisiana. This week, Louisiana’s governor lifted the statewide mandate, which allowed cities to impose their own mandates. New Orleans’ mandate, which has been in effect since July 2021, is also now ending.

Louisiana’s Statewide Mask Mandate

On October 26, 2021, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued Proclamation No. 203 JBE 2021, lifting the statewide mask mandate, effective October 27, 2021, except for certain K-12 schools. This mask mandate had been in place since August 4, 2021, due to the Delta variant surge in Louisiana. The order states that the mandate was revised due to “the reduction in the number of cases, test percent positivity, and hospitalizations” and “based on the current level of transmission of COVID-19 in Louisiana.” The order also notes that 57 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes “are still in the category of high community risk.”

The lifting of the mandate is a departure from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines, which advise that everyone two years of age or older who is not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public places. The mandate remains in place for students in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. However, the mandate does not appear to apply equally to teachers or staff members. In addition, schools may opt out of the mandate. The governor’s revised order provides that school districts may opt out of the mask mandate as long as they continue to follow the existing isolation and quarantine guidelines recommended by the CDC. The order allows local governments and private businesses to “issue more restrictive measures” with respect to face coverings. The City of New Orleans had a mask mandate in place, but it too has been lifted subject to exceptions.

New Orleans’s Mask Mandate

Effective October 29, 2021, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is also lifting the city’s mask mandate, in place since July 30, 2021, with respect to most public spaces. The remaining mask mandate covers only public transportation; health care facilities; and early childhood, elementary, and secondary educational institutions. Businesses are still free to set their own policies on masks.

© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 304
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About this Author

Andrew P. Burnside, Ogletree Deakins, Employment Law Matters Lawyer, Trade Secrets Attorney
Shareholder

Drew Burnside represents employers in federal and state courts, as well as federal and state administrative agencies, in employment law matters. Drew is admitted in Louisiana and Texas.

Drew has received an “AV” Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell and was on the editorial board of Tulane Maritime Law Journal at Tulane University. He is a chapter editor of and contributing author to The Family and Medical Leave Act treatise, published by BNA. Drew also was contributing author to The Developing Labor Law (3rd ed. BNA).

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504-648-2609
Ellen Rains, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, New Orleans, Labor and Employment Law Attorney
Associate

Ellen’s practice focuses on representing employers in a variety of employment law matters. A skilled litigator, Ellen devotes a substantial amount of her practice to employment litigation. She defends employers in administrative proceedings before the EEOC and other government agencies, and in litigation at the state and federal court level with respect to employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims, as well as restrictive covenant, wage and hour, and other contract- and tort-based actions. Ellen Rains is a member of the employment law, higher education...

504-648-3840
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