N.O. Residents Encouraged to Take COVID-19 Precautions

NEW ORLEANS — City officials are encouraging residents to take extreme health and safety precautions to once again help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in New Orleans. The threat level this week has risen to “red” — which signals an active outbreak. The greatest concern is what would be tantamount to a “third surge” for the city that has twice flattened the curve on cases and deaths.

“We are very concerned about the fact that cases are on the rise in New Orleans and are surging across the country. We are seeing major metropolitan areas either closing bars and restaurants or returning to remote learning. Make no mistake — the threat, to our families and our communities, is very real. We can and must prevent a third surge,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Health officials note that much of the community spread is coming from youth activities, social events and indoor gatherings, whether in bars and restaurants or private parties. Currently, there were 14,787 cases and 605 deaths reported. The City has seen about 1,000 new cases over the past two weeks, with a seven-day average of 77 new cases a day. With a doubling of the positivity rate in just one week, the City is concerned about reaching 5%, the critical threshold.

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“It is critical that residents do everything they can to prevent the spread during Thanksgiving and beyond. The safest way to celebrate is to stay within your own household. If you are planning a gathering, keep it as small as possible, wear masks at all times, opt for outdoors, and be extra careful with people who are elderly or have chronic medical conditions,” said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, the city’s health director.

More holiday safety tips are here: ready.nola.gov/holidays.

Free, community testing continues to be available in New Orleans. Due to increased demand for testing nationwide, the Louisiana Department of Health is expecting the drive-thru sites to see longer wait times for results (estimated four to five days).

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