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New Orleans sued over vaccine or test mandate

The city's communications director said the guidelines save lives and would stay in place at least through Mardi Gras.

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of approximately 100 people against the city of New Orleans’ vaccine or proof of negative test mandate that has been in place for several months now and which will likely continue through Mardi Gras, at least.

The suit seeks a restraining order against the mandate, which, beginning Tuesday, includes children five years of age and older. The order requires a proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within the previous 72 hours to enter indoor businesses.

While the details are still a bit in flux, the mandate is extended to parade krewes and the groups marching and performing in them.

The suit alleges that the rules violate the state’s rights to privacy and equal protection, according to a report on NOLA.com.

New Orleans Communications Director Beau Tidwell said he usually wouldn’t comment on pending litigation but did say that “the guidelines we put in place save lives.” He said they would remain in place through Mardi Gras as the city is expecting an influx of visitors from places where the vaccine levels are not as high as New Orleans and where cases may be increasing.

Tidwell said that COVID cases in the city are on the way down and that 66.4 percent of the city’s eligible residents have been vaccinated.

Starting this week, children attending New Orleans public schools are required to be vaccinated. Tidwell said that while families could opt for an exemption, very few people have. Tidwell did add that while they want all of the school children to be vaccinated, they weren’t looking to “bust anyone” and were looking to get people into compliance.

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