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New Orleans eases coronavirus restrictions, larger gatherings allowed

In a Thursday statement, city officials announced that New Orleans would be easing COVID-19 guidelines starting Friday.

NEW ORLEANS — The city of New Orleans will ease coronavirus restrictions beginning Friday, Feb. 26, according to a statement from city officials released Thursday afternoon. 

Starting Friday, gatherings of up to 75 people will be allowed indoors and 150 people will be allowed to gather outdoors. Businesses will also be allowed to seat up to 15 people at a single table. 

Indoor stadium capacity will be capped at 15% and outdoor stadiums will be capped at 25% occupancy. 

In all instances, social distancing and mask mandates still apply. 

City officials cited a sustained decrease in the case count, transmission rate and positivity rate of COVID-19 over the past 30 days, with the city's positivity rate under 2%. 

The transmission rate, which measures how many people each infected person passes the virus to, is "well below 1.0," city officials said. If a virus' transmission rate is lower than 1, each infected person infects less than one other person on average, causing the virus to die out in that area as people recover. 

Around 50 new cases are reported in Orleans parish per day.

The new guidelines will take effect Friday at 6 a.m. 

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