Blue Cross Urges Louisianians to Wear Masks, Avoid Crowds, Take Precautions

July 1, 2020

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana has seen an increase in reported COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in recent weeks. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana urges everyone to take steps to protect their health and the health of others because we are all still at risk.

“As the state moved into reopening, more people have started doing their usual activities, but we are unfortunately not in the clear from COVID-19 yet,” said Blue Cross Senior Medical Director Dr. Dee Barfield. “Right now, there is no vaccine or cure for COVID-19. But, what does work to lower our risk of getting it – and what we can all do – is to make sure we are limiting its spread.”

It’s especially important to be mindful of this heading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, when many may plan to leave home, take trips or gather to celebrate. See health tips for safely leaving home in this video (1:01).

Steps the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and other health officials recommend people do when leaving their homes to lower their risk of spreading COVID-19 include:

  • Wearing a face mask that covers your mouth and nose and fits snugly against the sides of your face
  • Staying at least six feet apart from others
  • 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 mask
  • 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

Some Louisiana parishes and multiple businesses, including stores and healthcare providers’ offices, require face masks and other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please be aware of and follow all rules to protect public health when you leave home.

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.”

Dr. Barfield explains why face masks are effective in this video (1:08).

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.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at or talk to us on social media.