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New Orleans will ease COVID restrictions this week

The city will move into a "modified Phase 3," but will continue to have stricter guidelines than the rest of Louisiana.
Credit: AP
People sing and dance to karaoke on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Thursday, July 9, 2020. A sharp increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is forcing bars in the good-time-loving, tourist-dependent city to shut down again just a month after they were allowed to partially reopen. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans will ease the city’s COVID-19 restrictions this week, entering a “modified Phase 3.”

According to City Spokesperson Beau Tidwell, the city will also enter phase 3, but will continue to lag behind the rest of the state.

As you know they’ve not always been in complete synchronicity with the state. That continues to be the case," Tidwell said. "What the modified phase 3 looks like you’ll hear more about that tomorrow."

Mayor LaToya Cantrell and New Orleans Dept. of Health Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno will host the press conference announcing the new guidelines at 11 a.m on March 10. They will also discuss vaccine distribution in New Orleans.

“The fact that our positivity rate is so low is not an accident, that’s down to the hard work that our residents and businesses have done to observe the guidelines that are put in place," Tidwell said. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards moved Louisiana back into Phase 3 of reopening last week.

Among the changes put in place, people are now be able to sit at a bar to drink without ordering food. Standing at or gathering around a bar will still be banned for now.

Live music is also allowed indoors, but if anyone is singing or playing a wind instrument, capacity will be reduced from 75 percent to 50 percent. Everyone must be seated.

Conferences and conventions can begin again, but only with permission.

Small outdoor events, such as school fairs, are allowed to resume with crowd limitations. Larger festivals or events will need permission from the state.

Local areas can have more restrictions than the state, but they can't have less. The city of New Orleans has often had tighter restrictions than the rest of the state.

WWL-TV will carry Mayor Cantrell's press conference live on WWLTV.com and our social media channels on March 10 at 11 a.m.

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