NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell is bringing back an indoor mask mandate for the city and requiring city employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Cantrell's Friday evening announcement came after Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards stopped short of ordering a statewide mask mandate.

However, Edwards held out the possibility he will do so on Monday.

Edwards and Louisiana's health officer say vaccinations and masks are both needed to slow what one Louisiana hospital official calls an “accelerating” rate of new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are on pace to set a record in the state next week.

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