Mayor Cantrell bans sitting at bars, limits indoor gatherings after surge in COVID-19 cases

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) – New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise, so city leaders are putting new restrictions in place on restaurants and bars.

The number of available tests have decreased, while testing at free sites, like Dillard University, has hit its quota before opening on Wednesday.

The new restrictions in New Orleans include no bar seating at restaurants or bars, allowing table service only. The restrictions also only allow a maximum of 25 people for indoor gatherings and 100 outdoors. The restrictions begin Saturday.

“I’m worried about Bourbon Street,” Cantrell said. She is keeping an eye on the tourist destination but has not made a move to implement further restrictions there.

New Orleans Health Director Dr. Jennifer Avengo said the testing supply shortage impacting mobile sites has not been fixed, but additional testing sites should open within the next week.

“It’s pretty clear we are on a dangerous path,” she said. The percentage of positive test are rising in Orleans Parish. Wednesday, 81 new cases were reported in the parish – more cases than the city has seen since April 20.

Each testing site is allotted 150 tests per day in hopes to not overwhelm the clinics the tests are submitted to.

The city reminds residents that the testing site at Dillard University is a walk-up site. When you arrive you are asked to park and then walk to the testing site.

Source: NOLA Ready via Twitter

Here’s a complete breakdown of the new restrictions:

For Gatherings:

Indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people or fewer. That applies to private gatherings like parties, weddings, and funerals at a house, event venue, or other business.

Restaurants:

No seating will be allowed at a physical bar. Patrons must wear a mask unless actively eating or drinking. Establishments must prohibit customers from loitering outside if not masked or distanced. Restaurants can continue to operate with 50% of permitted occupancy.

Bars With & Without Food Permits:

Bars can operate with table service only. No seating will be allowed at the physical bar. Patrons must be seated unless using the restroom. Patrons must wear masks unless actively eating or drinking. Establishments must prohibit customers from loitering outside if not masked or distanced. Bars with food permits can continue to operate with 50% of permitted occupancy; bars without food permits can continue to operate with 25% of permitted occupancy.

See more at ready.nola.gov/reopening.

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