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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell in January. Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

New Orleans officials issued a public health advisory on Wednesday "strongly recommending" that people wear face masks indoors, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases, driven by the Delta variant, are once again surging across the country. Earlier this week CDC Director Rochelle Walensky cited Louisiana among a handful of states with low vaccination rates that are driving a plurality of new cases.

The big picture: The new advisory is meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 but is not a mandate that will be enforced. Instead, it "puts the responsibility on individuals themselves," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell, per AP.

  • "The Delta variant is alive and very much well in the city of New Orleans," Cantrell said, Nola.com reports. "This is the most immediate thing, and the most tangible thing we can do to slow the spread."
  • The advisory comes just two months after the city lifted its mask mandate.
  • Louisiana's Department of Public Health reported 5,388 new cases on Wednesday.

Go deeper

Aug 3, 2021 - Health

New York City to require vaccination proof for indoor activities

New York City will require proof of vaccination to participate in indoor activities, including visiting gyms and restaurants, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The mandate is the first of its kind for a major U.S. city, according to de Blasio. France and Italy announced similar requirements last month.

Florida school district reverses mask mandate after DeSantis' funding threat

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Florida's second-largest school district on Monday said it will no longer impose a mask mandate after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) threatened to withhold funding from districts that require face coverings.

Driving the news: Broward County Public Schools announced last week that it would require mask use after the CDC issued new guidance recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools this incoming school year, regardless of vaccination status.

Colorado's haphazard approach to masks

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The COVID-19 pandemic recently took a serious turn amid the Delta variant's spread, but the Denver area didn't seem to notice.

In grocery stores, bars and shops across the area this weekend, the renewed public health precautions advising the vaccinated to wear masks indoors were met with a mix of acceptance, frustration and indignation, as the Axios Local team reported.