New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell announced a new indoor mask advisory Wednesday as coronavirus cases mount in the city, overwhelmingly among people who are unvaccinated.
The advisory is not the same as a “mandate:” It is a recommendation and will not be enforced by the city, reported Nola.com. Public health officials in the Louisiana city attributed a recent rise in cases to the highly contagious delta variant of the virus.
Daily cases in New Orleans ballooned almost tenfold in recent weeks, going from an average 11 reported cases on July 5 to nearly 100 on July 19, according to the mayor.
Late last month, Los Angeles County similarly officially recommended that residents wear masks in public indoor settings again, citing the spread of the delta variant.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said earlier this week that more cities and counties are likely to reinstitute COVID-19 protective measures, including mask mandates, as cases surge.
Vaccinated people remain at low risk of contracting the virus — even the delta variant — and are at extremely low risk of hospitalization or death if they are infected in a “breakthrough” case. However, coronavirus cases are growing dramatically among unvaccinated people.
The U.S. has gone from an average of nearly 11,500 daily cases on June 20 to a seven-day average of over 37,000 new cases on Tuesday — meaning COVID-19 cases more than tripled in the span of a month.