BATON ROUGE, La. – With the approach of Labor Day and a long holiday weekend for many, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana urges everyone to keep their guard up against COVID-19.
In mid-July, following an increase in reported COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide mandate that requires residents to wear face masks in public places and restricts gatherings. Although Louisiana has seen improvements since the order went into effect, the virus is still active in the state, and it’s important to take steps to continue slowing the spread.
Staying at least six feet apart from others and wearing face masks that cover your mouth and nose when in public, along with frequent handwashing, are the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. See health tips for what to do when you leave home in this video (1:01).
As medical scientists learn more about the novel coronavirus and how it spreads, studies are beginning to show that some masks are more effective than others. A recent study from Duke University measured how much the respiratory droplets that we release when we cough, sneeze or speak can get around or through masks.
That study showed most commonly worn mask styles, like cloth masks or surgical masks, ranged between 70% and 100% effectiveness at preventing these droplets from getting through. Masks that were shown to be less effective at preventing the droplets from getting through, which can cause illnesses to spread, were:
Blue Cross encourages Louisianians to wear the more effective mask types to have the best chance at preventing the spread of illnesses. Remember that any face mask should cover both your nose and mouth. Blue Cross Senior Medical Director Dr. Dee Barfield explains why wearing face masks are effective at preventing illnesses in this video (1:08).
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 www.bcbsla.com/covid19. Blue Cross has also produced Spanish versions of the social graphics, which are available to download and share.
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.
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 www.bcbsla.com/covid19.
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 and 2020 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 www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.