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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced Monday that the state is reinstating a temporary indoor mask mandate for all people ages 5 and older.

Why it matters: The move comes as the highly contagious Delta variant drives up COVID-19 cases across the country and the state struggles with a low vaccination rate.

The big picture: Louisiana is currently experiencing its "worst surge of the COVID-19 pandemic so far in terms of case growth rate, percent positivity and hospitalizations," per a press release from the governor's office.

  • The indoor mask mandate, intended to stem a fourth wave of the virus, will stay in place until September 1, with the possibility of extension if necessary, according to the press release.
  • Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals will be required to mask indoors at K-12 schools, universities, and other higher education institutions, per the press release.
  • In July, New Orleans officials issued a public health advisory "strongly recommending" that people wear face masks indoors.

What they're saying: “It has never been more clear that we are in an unchecked COVID surge that, in addition to threatening the health and wellbeing of many Louisianans, also threatens the capacity of our hospitals and medical facilities to deliver care to their patients," Edwards said in the press release.

  • "This decision is not one I take lightly, but as the fourth surge of COVID-19 is upon us, we know that mask wearing when you are in public is one way to greatly lower your risk of spreading or catching COVID," he added.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Nov 9, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado sounds the COVID alarm as FEMA team arrives at hospital

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Colorado's COVID-19 infections continue to rise faster than any state in the nation, new data shows.

Threat level: At the same time, the number available hospital beds across the state is dwindling — hitting a low of 80 at the start of this week.

Nov 9, 2021 - Health

Cardona: There is no longer a "need for remote or hybrid learning"

Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Monday said that there "should be no need for remote or hybrid learning" given recent advances in vaccinations and treatment against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Cardona's remarks on CBS' "Face the Nation" reflect the Biden administration's trust in the current measures implemented nationwide to mitigate the risk of students contracting the virus.

FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly COVID antibody treatments

A coldbox containing monoclonal antibody treatments at a Regeneron clinic in Pembroke Pines, Florida, in August. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The FDA said Monday it's limiting the use of two monoclonal antibody therapies as COVID-19 treatments because data indicates they're "highly unlikely" to be effective against the dominant Omicron variant.

Driving the news: The FDA revised the authorizations for Regeneron and Eli Lilly "to limit their use to only when the patient is likely to have been infected with or exposed to a variant that is susceptible to these treatments," per a statement from the agency.

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