NEW ORLEANS — COVID-19 is spreading faster in New Orleans than other cities across the country according to New Orleans Health Director Dr. Avegno.
"The trend that we are seeing cannot be ignored," she said.
Now, there are new guidelines for New Orleans bars and restaurants as part of a city-wide response to try and stop the spread of COVID-19.
Full-service restaurants will reduce seating by up to 50 percent to help the practice social distancing. They will close their doors at 9 p.m., but restaurants can still offer delivery afterward.
Fast food restaurants can only offer drive-thru service but can stay open 24 hours a day. Bars and nightclubs will close at midnight with a 50 person limit.
Playgrounds will stay open. Libraries are closed to the public but are ready if needed to use in some way to help stop the spread. Municipal and traffic courts are also closed.
"Please, please, please, we are urging these steps, so we can slow down the spread of COVID-19," New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno said.
NOPD broke up large crowds this weekend and will continue enforcing social distancing.
"You could bring something home to your family or loved one who have a weaker system than you. The behavior we observed on Magazine, Frenchman, on Bourbon was totally unacceptable, you are not helping the situation," NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson said.
As part of a pilot program through the federal government, New Orleans will be one of four cities in the country to offer drive-through testing. This will be for people who are most at risk, including first responders and health care providers. Details are being worked out but it should be up and running by mid-week.
"Our focus will be with this ramp up on first responders which includes our medical professions that we are seeing even some testing positive," Mayor LaToya Cantrell said.