As we embark on the “next” normal, it is important that we keep in mind that COVID-19 remains active in Louisiana.

The best way to ensure the safety of yourself and others is to get the COVID vaccine today if you are eligible.

If you are over 65, have diabetes, hypertension, asthma, or any other health issues (or come in contact with friends or family who are one of these vulnerable categories), it is imperative that you take precautions to protect yourself. The best way to do so is to get vaccinated, wear a mask, and physically distance.

If we want to enjoy live music, going to restaurants, football games, holidays, and spending time with family and friends, we must get vaccinated.

If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones, the community, and the culture!

graphic of person coughing
Medical research has shown that forceful coughing or sneezing can propel a spray of virus, carrying respiratory droplets 20+ feet.


To reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

Resume your pre-pandemic activities, but follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses, venues, restaurants, etc.

Take precautions (mask-wearing, distancing, hand-washing, etc.) in crowded places, mass gatherings, and when traveling.

Continue to watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone sick. If you have symptoms, get tested and stay away from others. If your test is positive, isolate at home for 10 days.


People with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated. You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.


SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spreads primarily through respiratory droplets emitted by infected people when they cough, sneeze, talk loud, laugh, sing or simply exhale; you can breathe in the droplets.

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person. It can also be spread by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Think of it like this: You and 10 friends spend Mardi Gras Day together. One of you is decorated with glitter. How many of you wake up on Ash Wednesday with glitter clinging to you?

Let’s look at the math:

What we know is that a person with COVID-19, whether they have symptoms or not, can infect, on average, 2-3 people. Given an average incubation period of 5 days, a single unchecked case can lead, over 2 months, to more than 20,000 infections and 100 deaths.

Chart showing exposure rates

Social distancing tips:

graphic of socially-distanced people

Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ lengths) from other people.

graphic of person wearing a mask

Wear proper personal protective equipment such as a cloth facemask to further promote safety and health.

graphic of laptop

Take precautions (mask-wearing, distancing, etc.) in crowded places or mass gatherings


Exposure time matters. Medical experts don’t know exactly how long is too long, but less than 15 minutes spent in the socially distanced company of an infected person makes spread unlikely.

There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.


Did you know that a study conducted at a military boot camp found that a top-down program of hand washing 5 times per day cut medical visits for respiratory infections by 45%? Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Do not rush the handwashing process. It could save your life! Wash or sanitize your hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds every time you go into and out of a group environment, and every couple of hours while you’re in it.

When using a hand sanitizer, make sure it has greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol alcohol.

graphic of soapy hands


Wearing or not wearing a mask is not a political statement; it is an act of kindness. It is as vital as wearing a seat belt in a car. A new study published in Nature shows that, if worn properly, masks are effective at blocking 99% of virus droplets getting in and out. As part of the CDC’s guidance on reopening, they noted that their “best estimate about viral transmission” is that 35% of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 have no symptoms, including fever.




Cleaning alone does not kill germs, but it reduces the number of germs on a surface. You must use a disinfectant to kill germs.

graphic of Clean house

Keep your environment clean with antibacterial spray or wipes. Regularly disinfect surfaces and objects inside your house and car.

graphic of hand-washing

Wash hands with soap and water (when using a hand sanitizer make sure it has greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol)

graphic of disinfectant spray

Disinfect frequently used items (phones, computers, etc.)

graphic of air vent

To avoid spreading the virus through air conditioning be sure to clean and/or replace filters often.

Taylor Ann Cohen


Taylor Ann Cohen, MPH graduated in Epidemiology from Tulane University. She coordinated NOMC&AF’s Dancer Wellness and You Got This outreach programs up until the pandemic changed our world.