On Tuesday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced he will be lifting the blanket state mask mandate.

Edwards cited sustained improvements with COVID hospitalizations and an increased supply of vaccines as the reasoning behind his decision to ease restrictions beginning on April 28. While the governor's statewide mandate will be lifted, masks will still be required in certain settings.

The end of the statewide mask mandate gives the power back to businesses and local governments to enforce their own rules when it comes to required masking.

Gov. Edwards said that masking will still be required at K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and early childhood educations centers. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, nursing homes and hospitals will also still require masks.

This easing of restrictions from the Louisiana governor came on the heels of an announcement from the CDC earlier today stating that people can now safely go maskless outdoors while walking, biking, exercising, etc. with "members of their household.

Edwards stressed that while he is easing restrictions, it is important to understand that it doesn't signify the end of mask wearing.

The governor said that there is still a focus on getting more people vaccinated as Louisiana just crossed the 25% mark.

Governor Edwards also announced some changes to restrictions when it comes to indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Dr. Joe Kanter joined Gov. Edwards to announce that Louisiana is among some of the best in the nation when it comes to COVID numbers—further proof that "vaccinations work."

Perhaps the most telling proof that vaccines work was in the following chart shared by the Louisiana Department of Health showing the decrease in COVID cases in state nursing homes.

While this may not be the end of the pandemic, it is definitely another (huge) step forward.

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