BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- Gov. Edwards has extended the Louisiana Public Health Emergency order related to COVID-19 including a provision allowing all state government agencies to require mask wearing.

The omicron variant is spreading fast across the state, LDH reports over 1700 new cases as of Dec. 20. Louisiana Health officials urges all to get vaccinated, especially if you are planning to gather and travel over the holiday season.

“While vaccines and booster doses are the strongest tools we have in the fight against COVID, public health experts also agree that masks are an important way to slow the spread of the Omicron variant now. This means you should be masking indoors around people who aren’t in your household,” Gov. Edwards said. “While it is concerning to still see rising cases, as President Joe Biden noted earlier today – we have come a long way since March 2020. Around 50 percent of Louisianans have already been vaccinated and are much more protected against COVID than they have ever been. The more than 460,000 Louisianans who have already taken a booster dose have even stronger protection.

In addition to the Governor’s public health order, the Louisiana Department of Health on Monday issued revised recommendations and guidance for Louisianans during the holiday season, particularly if they are traveling.