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Baton Rouge Bishop Michael Duca speaks during a prayer vigil for Kori Gauthier, the LSU student from Opelousas who has been missing since Wednesday, on Sunday, April 11, 2021 on Galvez Plaza.

Masks will no longer be mandatory in schools and churches in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Bishop Michael Duca said in a letter to parishioners Tuesday evening.

The announcement comes after Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was dropping Louisiana's rule requiring masks in public indoor places. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards lifts Louisiana mask mandate, except for certain K-12 schools

"While these changes will come as welcome news to many, I continue to encourage diligence throughout our community since this pandemic has not yet ended," Duca wrote. "It has been my goal and that of our diocesan leaders to ensure that everyone in our parishes and schools are kept as safe as possible."

Duca said the diocese's Catholic Schools Office will be issuing more guidelines later this week for quarantines and other procedures to limit the spread of COVID. 

"Should our situation change once more, guidelines may once again be revised," Duca wrote. 

Baton Rouge public schools will still require masks; here's the situation in other local districts

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