BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — Governor John Bel Edwards extended Louisiana’s Public Health Emergency order related to COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon. This extension calls for all state government agencies to require the use of masks to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.

According to a release from the governor’s office, state agencies in the Governor’s Cabinet will begin requiring masks of employees and visitors.

“While vaccines and booster doses are the strongest tools we have in the fight against COVID, public health experts also agree that masks are an important way to slow the spread of the Omicron variant now. This means you should be masking indoors around people who aren’t in your household,” said Gov. Edwards.

“While it is concerning to still see rising cases, as President Joe Biden noted earlier today – we have come a long way since March 2020. Around 50 percent of Louisianans have already been vaccinated and are much more protected against COVID than they have ever been. The more than 460,000 Louisianans who have already taken a booster dose have even stronger protection.”

The release stated that only a quarter of eligible Louisianans have received their vaccine booster doses, and that a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot increases antibody levels 25-fold against Omicron., while a Moderna booster can increase antibody levels 37-fold against the COVID-19 variant.