New Orleans Mayor, Health Department director expected to announce COVID-19 restrictions

Mayor LaToya Cantrell has issued an indoor mask advisory in New Orleans as COVID-19 cases increase.

“The alarming transmission data we’ve seen in the last two weeks, coupled with an inadequate vaccination rate, leaves us no choice,” said New Orleans Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno. “People who continue to refuse to take the lifesaving COVID vaccine are now also putting the entire community in jeopardy. We must take action now to slow the rapid spread of the Delta variant.”

Per the indoor mask advisory, residents are asked to wear masks in indoor settings when with people who are not members of their immediate household.

New Orleans Communications Director Beau Tidwell said on Tuesday that New Orleans Health Director Jennifer Avegno and Mayor LaToya Cantrell are considering new restrictions as case counts begin to rise.

According to NOLA Ready, COVID-19 cases in the city have increased by nine times in the past two weeks. Tidwell said if those numbers continue to climb, future events could be in jeopardy.

“It potentially puts the progress we have made at risk but also all the exciting things that we are looking forward to this fall,” said Tidwell. “Those things are potentially threatened by this spread.”

The city is urging residents to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Musician Sam Price told WDSU that he is already vaccinated and hopes more restrictions do not take effect.

“It’s definitely concerning,” said Price. “I play music for a living, so my business has been shut down for quite some time. It’s nice to be getting back to playing gigs and now that might be threatened.”

Shirani Rea, who works at Peaches Records on Magazine Street, said her business will follow whatever guidelines are put in place by city leaders.

“If that’s what we have to do, that’s what we have to do,” said Rea. “My whole thing was not to worry about the money but to try to see how can we get out of it, how do we save lives.”

The average number of daily cases has reportedly increased more than 10 times in the last two weeks, with 185 new cases reported in Orleans Parish today alone.

To see vaccination opportunities in New Orleans, click here.

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