COVID-19 Vaccination and Masking Requirements
August 6, 2021
Masks Mandated Indoors: The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has updated its guidance for masks effective August 4, 2021. The new guidance requires all people ages 5 and above - vaccinated and unvaccinated – to wear face masks while indoors.
This temporary indoor statewide mask mandate will stay in place until at least September 1, 2021 but may be extended if necessary.
Schools: This mask requirement applies to K-12 schools, universities, and other higher education institutions, when they return to campus.
Outdoor Guidance: Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in outdoor activities — large or small — without wearing a mask but are encouraged to physically distance from others.
Get Vaccinated: Studies show that vaccines are effective at preventing illness, hospitalization and death, and vaccinated individuals are less likely to spread the virus. The U.S. is sequencing viruses to identify variants, and vaccines are effective against currently circulating variant viruses.
People are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
When Should Fully Vaccinated People Wear a Mask?
In addition to the current indoor mask mandate, there are certain settings where vaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks — either due to close proximity, high turnover of individuals, individuals being at higher risk for severe disease, comingling of individuals from multiple different locations, or co-mingling of individuals with varied vaccination statuses (including settings with children who are too young to be vaccinated). These settings include:
- Communal and public transportation and within airports and stations (planes, trains, buses, etc.)
- Schools and school buses — including teachers, staff and students
- Healthcare settings — including hospitals, long-term care facilities and doctors’ offices
- Correctional facilities — including staff and inmates/detainees/offenders when applicable
- Homeless shelters
Masks should always be worn when required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations.
Masks should still be worn in private businesses and workplaces which require them.
Fully vaccinated people with conditions or medications that weaken the immune system should consult with their healthcare providers to decide if they should continue taking all precautions (including masking).
Fully vaccinated individuals who wish to further reduce risk may choose to continue wearing a mask, especially those in communities with lower vaccination rates and higher rates of disease.