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Is it just me, or does it feel like we are almost out of the COVID-19 pandemic?  I'm not saying I have burned all of my facemasks or stopped washing my hands, it just seems like every day we are seeing positive news about infection rates, or the the amount of people getting fully vaccinated.  Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards even lifted the mandatory, state-wide mask mandate - what else do we need to see before we declare this extremely protracted crisis finally over?

As it turns out, you may want to hold on to your masks for a little bit longer.  According to the Shreveport Times, several parishes in NW Louisiana have reported increases in COVID-19 infections - including Bossier.  The report shows that Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Natchitoches and Webster all showed significant rises in the number of cases reported over the last 2 weeks.

The mind-boggling thing is this: Both Bossier and Caddo parishes have the state's highest vaccination rates among those over 65-years old - 65%.  Just how Bossier is reporting a 24% increase in cases is a bit of a mystery.

On Thursday, May 13th, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued new guidelines for Americans for this new (and hopefully last) phase of the pandemic.  If you have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (or, single dose for the Johnson & Johnson version), and you have waited at least 2 weeks - you can go on with your life mask-free.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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