Blue Cross urges Louisianians to comply with statewide mask mandate

Small steps can protect health, slow the spread of COVID-19 in state

Baton Rouge, La. – Following an increase in reported COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in recent weeks, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Saturday issued a statewide mandate that requires residents to wear face masks in public places.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana urges everyone to follow the mandate, which goes into effect today, and take other steps, including social distancing and frequent handwashing, to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“The rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks has been alarming, but be assured that taking small steps like wearing a face mask, staying six feet apart from others and washing your hands frequently are effective at slowing the spread of novel coronavirus,” said Blue Cross Senior Medical Director Dr. Dee Barfield. “Take these steps whenever you leave home to protect the health of those around you, and they should take the same steps to protect you.”

Blue Cross has created interactive graphics for its social media that encourage people to wear masks now so we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and safely resume activities like tailgating, going to festivals, and having crawfish boils. Anyone can share or post these graphics to their personal social media and are asked to use the hashtag #MaskUp when doing so. Find and download the graphics at

In addition to wearing a face mask that covers your mouth and nose and fits snugly against the sides of your face when shopping, at doctor’s appointments or in other public settings, other things the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and health officials recommend people do when leaving home to lower their risk of spreading COVID-19 include:

• Staying at least six feet apart from others (social distancing)
• Washing your hands frequently or using hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol
• Avoiding touching your face – including when you put on or take off your face mask
• Carrying tissues to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing – do not cough or sneeze into your face mask or your bare hands
• Checking your temperature frequently and staying home if it’s 100.4 or above, you have symptoms like coughing or sore throat, and/or you have been exposed to COVID-19

For Louisiana employers, Blue Cross has created an online, multimedia toolkit to address common questions and share information from medical directors as more business reopen and employees return to the workplace.

“We know that the past few months have been very difficult, and people are anxious to get back to their everyday lives and spend time with their extended family, friends, and loved ones,” Barfield said. “But, it’s still not safe for us to gather in groups or go to public places without taking these small steps to keep
from potentially exposing others to illness.”

You can visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube page to see short videos with the clinical team and others discussing various health topics. Subscribe to know when new videos are added. You can also connect with Blue Cross on social media for regular updates.

For information on what Blue Cross is doing for members during COVID-19, visit

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We were recognized in 2019 as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.