NEW ORLEANS — On Friday afternoon, the City of New Orleans announced that fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to wear masks or practice social distancing, following recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Unvaccinated individuals should continue masking and social distancing and are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
According to Dr. Avegno, for over two months, New Orleans has enjoyed low COVID-19 cases, low test positivity, low hospitalizations and deaths, and a rate of transmission below one. To date, over 40% of all residents are fully vaccinated, over 50% of all adults are fully vaccinated, and over 70% of seniors are fully vaccinated.
For these reasons, the New Orleans Health Department has recommended the City adopt the updated mask guidance issued by the CDC.
“While we’ve made significant progress fighting COVID’s impact in New Orleans, unvaccinated people need to understand that the burden of risk now shifts to them,” said New Orleans Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno. “COVID strains and variants can still unleash their full effects on residents who are not vaccinated. I’m imploring everyone to take advantage of the free, lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and to enjoy the freedoms that come with full vaccination.”
New guidelines will go into effect Saturday, May 15 at 6 a.m. with the following changes:
- Vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to wear masks or social distance, except in City government buildings, K-12 schools, healthcare facilities, and federally regulated transportation systems (RTA, Airport, Union Passenger Terminal)
- Dancing will now be allowed for vaccinated individuals
Gathering sizes and capacity limits will remain unchanged at this time. Businesses may continue to require masking as a safety measure. The full updated guidelines will be available at ready.nola.gov/reopening shortly.
As a reminder, an individual is “fully vaccinated” two weeks after the last dose of the vaccine series.