You don't have to be a specialist in the field of infectious diseases to see that Louisiana and the nation are making progress in the battle against COVID-19. But then again, we've seen this part of the movie before. You know, the part where case counts have dropped and hospitalizations are down too. The last time we thought we were out of the woods we got smacked with the Delta Variant of the disease, but maybe this time things are different.

We, the people of Louisiana, will find out what Governor John Bel Edwards has to say about the current statewide mask mandate at a press conference scheduled for later today. Based on just basic information you'd have to think there would be some loosening of restrictions.

If you just compare daily case counts and daily hospitalization reports from the most recent to a similar report issued about three months ago, our progress against the pandemic is easily illustrated. But will that be enough progress in the vital areas for the Governor's COVID response team to recommend changes in the mask mandate?

Governor Edwards has called a press conference for 3 pm this afternoon. It is expected that the Governor will go over the latest information on the pandemic. It is expected that the Governor will address Louisiana's declining case counts and hospitalization rates. I am sure the Governor will also mention our state's positivity rate, which has been in decline as well.

While at first blush, a reasonable person might expect the mask mandate, which is set to expire on Wednesday, October 27th might just be done away with completely. There are those that still feel strongly that face covering, especially in certain situations, have helped to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

Of course, we won't know until the Governor relays his decision later today. You can watch the live stream of the press conference on social media and many local media outlets will also provide coverage.

Meanwhile, Governor Edwards is planning on leaving the state on Thursday to travel internationally. Edwards has been invited to participate in the International Race to Zero being held in Scotland beginning Sunday. That climate summit is being hosted by the United Nations. The Governor will be accompanied by members of his cabinet staff and the Climate Initiatives Task Force. That conference will run from Sunday through November 4th.

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