New Orleans has revived its mask mandate for indoor spaces, effective January 12, 2022. Citing increased COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates, Mayor Latoya Cantrell has ordered that all individuals over the age of two who do not have breathing complications must wear masks “when in indoor spaces outside the household, unless actively eating or drinking.” The mandate also applies to persons riding in a vehicle with non-family members. The mandate applies to all businesses and workplaces in New Orleans. The mandate is part of the city’s reopening guidelines, which also require people to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results before entering certain indoor establishments.
Employers with operations in the city must provide workers with easy access to soap and water or sanitizer for hand cleaning in the workplace. The guidelines also state that employees who are not fully vaccinated should maintain social distancing of six feet or more when sharing the same space. Companies are obligated to clean common areas of the workplace throughout the workday.
Governor John Bel Edwards lifted Louisiana’s mask mandate on October 26 2021, and it has not been reinstated. None of the parishes adjoining New Orleans have required masks for indoor activities.
The guidelines provide for criminal prosecution under state law and city ordinances for violations.
Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and will post updates in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.