City Announces Return to Modified Phase 1 as Hospitalizations Rise

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans has announced a return to modified set of “phase one” health restrictions because COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have reached a statewide record high. Reduced capacity limits and gathering sizes will go into effect Friday, Jan. 8 at 6 a.m. and will last for three weeks.

“With vaccines coming but our COVID-19 numbers rising, these next few weeks will be a defining moment in the history of our response to this pandemic. That’s why we need everyone in our community to take this change in COVID-19 restrictions very seriously. We are in a precarious situation, one that will not get better unless we have everyone on board,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “These restrictions are for the short term, but they are in place for a reason. We must work together as a collective force to once again flatten the curve and bring our cases under control. I know we can do this, and I believe in our people to get it done.”

The City said the percentage of positive tests, which was just over 5% for the last two weeks, has doubled in one week. Average daily cases have increased from roughly 30 throughout most of the fall months to over 200. Statewide hospitalizations reached an all-time on Jan. 5 with more COVID patients admitted than in the entire month of April 2020. 

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The major changes to restrictions:

  • Gatherings and special events will not be allowed except for people who live together in a single household.
  • All indoor activities will be reduced to 25% of permitted occupancy.
  • Indoor and outdoor sporting events will be reduced to 4% of permitted occupancy.
  • Tables – at restaurants, or outdoor seating at bars or breweries – will be limited to six people and everyone must be from the same household.

For a full list of current guidelines please visit the website here.

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