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Louisiana will continue to expand it's COVID-19 economic reopening, as Governor John Bel Edwards announced today that the state will be further reducing the COVID restrictions around the state.

This goes into effect tomorrow, and lasts for 28 days:

The state's mask mandate is being removed, and local leaders will have the ability to place their own mask mandates into effect. It will still be required for certain buildings and industries, including K-12 schools and state agencies. But the overall State-wide mask mandate is being dropped, and shifted to a local decision.

This new proclamation eliminates size restrictions on outdoor crowds, eases restrictions on live music, and allows indoor events to have 100% occupancy if everyone is wearing a mask.

Sports venues can also go to 100% occupancy inside, as long as they require masks for everyone.

Salon style businesses can fully open their waiting rooms under the new guidelines according to the Governor.

The state of Louisiana continues to excel in the fight against COVID-19. Louisiana has remained under 400 daily COVID-related hospitalizations since March 25th (down from more than 2,000 a day in early January), while also seeing ventilator use in hospitals drop below 100 every day since February 26th (down from a peak of around 250 in January).

Across the state, the COVID-19 7-day rolling average for positivity rate has been under 5% since February 25th, and under 10% since January 21st.

Most of the success of these numbers are being attributed to the expansion of the COVID-19 vaccine around the state. Right now, more than 30% of the state has at least some level of protection due to the vaccine, while more than 1 in 4 Louisiana residents are fully vaccinated.

While some have feared another "wave" of COVID in the USUS, experts have been quick to calm that concern. Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb has been addressing this concern for weeks, pointing out the high numbers of vaccines that have been administered, as well as the amount of people who have recovered from COVID. Those who have recovered have natural antibodies, while those getting vaccinated with have artificial antibodies. Both versions of antibodies protect against severe cases of COVID-19, and death from the virus. Which helps protect the population from another "wave".

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