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Gov. Edwards ‘strongly considering’ reinstating statewide mask mandate; BR’s largest hospital urgently requests extra staff

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2021 at 4:24 PM CDT
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UPDATE:

Gov. Edwards says 45 hospitals across Louisiana have asked the state to assist with additional resources.

A spokesman for Baton Rouge’s largest hospital, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, says that hospital has asked for nearly 200 additional staff members. The request by OLOL, which was made to both state and federal agencies, includes:

OLOL STATE REQUEST:

  • 106 registered nurses
  • 17 certified nursing assistants
  • 17 clerical staff
  • 17 respiratory therapists

OLOL FEDERAL REQUEST:

  • 20 registered nurses
  • 10 respiratory therapists

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards asked residents to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status during a news conference Friday, July 30.

He said he is not reinstating a statewide mask mandate at this time, but is “strongly considering” reinstating it.

The governor also said he and state health officials are currently reviewing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the mask mandate.

Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) said Louisiana is the leading state for COVID cases per capita and has no sign of slowing down.

Health officials with the Louisiana Department of Health say the fourth surge is being spurred by the delta variant of the virus.

On Friday, 1,740 patients were hospitalized statewide with COVID-19; a number the state has not seen since the beginning of the end of its third surge on the virus on Jan. 26 when 1,625 patients were hospitalized. The number of people hospitalized continues to rise.

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The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) reported 162 hospitalized patients on mechanical ventilators, which is also a number not seen since earlier this year.

LDH reported 4,413 new cases of the virus on Thursday. On Tuesday, July 27 the state recorded its second-highest daily COVID case count since the pandemic began with 6,797 cases.

Earlier this week the CDC changed course some masking guidelines it made months ago. On Tuesday, the CDC recommended that vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus.

The CDC also recommended students wear masks in the kindergarten through 12th-grade schools.

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