New Orleans has officially reinstated an indoor mask mandate ahead of its busy Carnival season.
According to NOLA.com, the mandate was announced Tuesday (January 11) and goes into effect Wednesday morning (January 12) at 6:00 a.m.
The policy states that masks must be worn in all indoor spaces, except private residences and is expected to last throughout Mardi Gras celebrations and Carnival which runs through February, per New Orleans Health Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno who spoke about the mandate at a news conference.
New Orleans Mayor LaTonya Cantrell confirmed last week that the legendary Mardi Gras parade would go on "without a doubt."
The reinstated mask policy comes as the city, like many across the nation, face a surge in new Covid-19 cases, driven by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant.
In December, city officials reportedly urged New Orleans residents to mask up voluntarily, but have put the indoor mask mandate back in place as cases rise.
"It shouldn't take a mandate to do this," Avegno said, noting that New Orleans was one of the first Omicron hotspots in the country.
"I don't think that people realize that what hospitals look like right now is dramatically different from a mild inconvenience," Avegno added.
This is the city's third indoor mask mandate since the coronavirus pandemic began.
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