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New Orleans plans phased reopening starting May 16

The mayor said the exact details of the plan would be announced at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city would begin a slow, phased approach to reopening beginning this Saturday, May 16.

She and Dr. Jennifer Avegno, the city's chief medical officer,outlined how the city is doing versus the goals they set to begin reopening the city.

Cantrell said that the exact plan of the reopening would be given Tuesday afternoon.

"We will unveil a comprehensive set of guidelines for the city regarding the phased reopening that will commence May 16," she said.

Though major details weren't given, Dr. Avegno did talk about some businesses being allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity but still not allowing 'super-spreader' events such as weddings and funerals, where large groups of people would be attending in a small space. 

She listed super-spreader type events as:

- Large gatherings 

- Houses of worship 

- Businesses 

- Theaters, casinos  

Avegno also emphasized that the elderly and those at risk of adverse consequences for COVID-19, should remain home.

Governor John Bel Edwards will announce the state's plan to begin reopening during a 2:30 p.m. press conference Monday.

Cantrell emphasized that the governor's plan will be a 'floor' for the city and that the city's guidelines would likely be more restrictive. 

Cantrell has said often that the data and not a date would determine the pace at which the city reopens.

The city and the state have been one of the outbreak hot spots in the United States, logging a larger than expected number of cases, but the trend recently has been going in the right direction.

Cantrell also said that the city wouldn't hesitate to 'turn back' some of the less restrictive guidelines if COVID-19 made another return.

She said that the city has lost 470 residents, an overwhelming majority of which are African-American, at 360 deaths. She said 99 of the victims classified as Caucasians, three as Asian-Americans and eight of which are classified as other or unknown.  

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