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City of New Orleans Continues to Loosen Restrictions in Response to Improved COVID-19 Numbers

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans today continued to loosen restrictions and update guidelines as the COVID-19 vaccinations increase and other, negative numbers such as fatalities and positivity rates continue to decrease.

Currently, Orleans Parish’s positivity rate is 0.8%, with an average of 19 cases per day. Also, 35.8% of its residents have been fully vaccinated, with 42.9% having received the first dose. ​That translates into 44.8% percent of eligible residents vaccinated, with 53.7% getting the first dose.

“Thanks to the hard work and the sacrifices our people and our business-owners have made, New Orleans is a safer place to live and a safer place to visit. We should be proud of the progress we’ve made together, with measures that have helped us become national leaders in slowing the spread and saving lives. We know this hasn’t been easy, but it has been paying off, and we’re almost there. Getting vaccinated will help us continue to reopen New Orleans to the world as the safest destination city we can be,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

[READ: Modified Phase III Guidelines]

However, there remains a big gap between the City’s current rate of full vaccination – about 35.8% – and the goal to reach 75% and herd immunity. Continuing to mask and maintain distancing will mitigate further illness and death while the City works toward that vaccination standard.

The City will not be changing its mask mandate at this time but is raising gathering limits to 250 indoors and 500 outdoors, with masks and distancing required in both settings. Most establishments and retail sectors currently at 75% capacity will increase to 100%, as long as residents continue to practice social distancing and wearing masks. Gyms and stadium guidelines will remain the same for the time being, as these settings pose a higher risk of transmission.

“With this change on Friday, New Orleans will be the most ‘open’ it’s been since the pandemic began. And with that brings more risks. As a state, Louisiana continues to rank among the highest in variant cases and lowest in vaccinations. And we need only to look at places like Michigan, Brazil and India to see that the potential for another surge is real. So while we are announcing the easing of restrictions, I cannot stress enough that masking, distancing and getting vaccinated are the most important things everyone can do to keep New Orleans moving forward on the path toward normalcy,” said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Director, New Orleans Health Department.

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