NEW ORLEANS – Today marks the 12th day of New Orleans moving through phase two of reopening. However, a spike in coronavirus cases has raised concerns that the city could be taking a step back.
“If we do not double down on our efforts to protect ourselves, then we can regress,” Mayor Cantrell said on Wednesday morning. “If the city has to shut down, we will do that!”
According to the Director of New Orleans Department of Health, Dr. Jennifer Avegno, the confirmed number of coronavirus cases is on the rise again.
Dr. Avegno says, large recent gatherings that were not permitted at local restaurants and bars have fed into this problem. City leaders are concerned that business owners, residents and visitors aren’t abiding by the CDC guidelines, especially the city’s youth.
“50 percent of cases- new cases- recent cases were among people younger than age 30. Ten percent were kids 18 and younger,” said Dr. Avegno. “This is a huge shift in what we’ve been seeing!”
Mayor Cantrell says, in response to the recent large gatherings in New Orleans, she has created a task force, also referred to as a unified command, to hold people and businesses accountable.
“Personnel from code enforcement, safety and permits, the New Orleans Health Department, Alcohol and Tobacco Control, LDH, the State Fire Marshal and a few more!” said Cantrell.
We’re told, the unified command will be especially active on the weekends. As for business owners who don’t follow phase two guidelines – “they will be given citations!” said Mayor Cantrell. “They will be moving forward closing businesses down if they do not comply!”
Fortunately, Dr. Avegno says, it’s not too late to get back on track.
“We can continue to go in a positive direction. What you do today will determine our future. Who has a job to support their family – who lives and who dies. It’s very clear,” Avegno said.
To connect with contact tracers to receive guidance and to help others that may have been exposed to COVID-19 you’re asked to call (877) 766-2130.