This is Our New Normal: Governor Calls for Public To ‘Mask Up’

There’s going to be a new normal until there’s a vaccine for the Coronavirus and everything gets back to normal. At a press conference on Wednesday, April 22 Governor John Bel Edwards said that less physical contact is going to be required, as well as the use of facial coverings and masks. Whether you have an underlying health condition or not Edwards said he needs everyone to wear masks when they go out into public and come in contact with other people. Starting Thursday, April 23 the media will be required to ware masks to enter the room and attend future press conferences.

“We’ll have a lot more information going forward with this,” he said. “I encourage you to begin this process now. I’m calling upon Louisiana to “mask up.”

Edwards also said he’s comfortable betting that on May 1 Louisiana will be under a different order than it is now. This really depends on what happens over the next week or so because the state has to make sure it has those 14 days where the trajectory is the way it needs to be as it relates to cases and hospital capacity and an overall downward trajectory over 14 days of influenza like illness (ILI).

“I want people to have realistic expectations on what that will look like whether it happens May 1 or sometime after that,” Edwards said at a prior press conference on Tuesday, April 21. “It will be a gradual phased reopening of different parts of the economy. Social distancing will remain a prominent feature of daily life. There will still be crowd size restrictions and other limitations. We’re always going to be monitoring through testing to see what happens.

Moving forward three things are imperative:

1. Slowing the spread remains the number one priority for the state as a whole. All the things being talked about (stay-at-home order, social distancing, etc…) remain incredibly important.

2. Increasing the state’s testing capacity is important going forward because more has to be done.

3. Engage in more contact tracing as individuals are tested as they become positive. Make contact with everyone the positive person came into contact with for 48 hours before they became symptomatic. And these individuals need to understand they need to engage in quarantine.

“This will be key to us moving forward so we can keep the case numbers down, so we can continue to open up the economy,” said Edwards. “There is no stigma for being tested for or contracting Covid-19. Think of it as taking an opportunity to keep your self and members of your community safe.”


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