New Orleans issues indoor mask advisory amid surging COVID-19 cases

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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.

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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.

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