Reinstatement of the indoor mask mandate is effective Wednesday, Jan. 12

In response to the exponential growth of new COVID cases and hospitalizations statewide due to the Omicron variant, the City of New Orleans today (Jan. 11) announced the reinstatement of the indoor mask mandate in Orleans Parish, effective at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12.

The mask mandate will be in place for all public indoor spaces, including all K-12 schools and healthcare facilities throughout Orleans Parish. Masks will also be required for use of public transportation as detailed in the federal guidelines, for all residents ages 2 and older. COVID-19 mitigation measures implemented for certain businesses requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry will remain in place.

“Health care systems and schools — the bedrock of any thriving community — are once again stretched to the brink by this pandemic, and right now, everyone in our community feels its impact,” said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Director of the New Orleans Health Department. Throughout this pandemic, we’ve successfully implemented layered mitigation measures — masking, testing and vaccinations — to protect us through COVID-19 surges and minimize loss of health, life and business. As we go about our daily lives and anticipate welcoming large crowds to the City in the coming weeks, we must implement all of these measures to remain safe and healthy.”

As COVID hospitalizations surge across the state, now exceeding 1,700 individuals, hospital capacity has been severely impacted. Hospitals have shut down elective procedures and emergency departments are full. This is due to the more contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19.

In order to curb the dangerous and rapid spread of the Omicron variant, an indoor mask mandate will take effect Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 6 a.m. Everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, should wear a mask indoors when with people who are not members of their immediate household. 

The New Orleans Health Department will also be distributing N95 masks. Distribution is scheduled to take place at the following locations Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., while supplies last:

  • Main Library, 219 Loyola Ave.
  • Algiers Regional Library, 3014 Holiday Drive
  • East New Orleans Regional Library, 5641 Read Blvd.
  • Milton H. Latter Memorial Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave.
  • Robert E. Smith Library, 6301 Canal Blvd.
  • Norman Mayer Library, 3001 Gentilly Blvd.
  • Hubbell Library, 725 Pelican Ave.

Guidelines will be updated at For ongoing COVID updates from the City of New Orleans, text COVIDNOLA to 77295.

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