City struggles with gatherings during modified Phase II

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NEW ORLEANSA video of people singing and dancing Saturday night on Bourbon St., many without masks on, was shared by the Twitter handle @NewOrleansTL and has been viewed over 97,000 times. The hundreds of responses to the video vary from horror of folks being out in groups during the pandemic, to others encouraging the city to open up already.

Late yesterday the city also responded, saying in part that “This is dangerous and risks lives and risks the progress our city has made in bending the curve and stopping the spread.”

With Mardi Gras only a few weeks away the city’s health director recently weighed in on people who insist on gathering in spite of the the current restrictions.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno stated, “That is putting our community at risk. Just like last Mardi Gras did and so I have a hard time believing that anyone would knowingly want to cause the death of someone else even is they don’t know them.”

Speaking of Mardi Gras, another video was posted yesterday by @JonDeTrinis of a gathering at the unveiling of a house float, complete with brass band.

It appears as if the City of New Orleans is struggling with trying to get people to comply with the modified Phase II currently in effect.

As for the Bourbon St. gathering, Earth Cam images from Saturday show NOPD mounted officer on duty that night. The corner they were positioned on was rather tame, but that didn’t deter people from gathering on other parts of Bourbon St.

This is the full statement from the City of New Orleans:

“Any mass gathering like the one seen here is a potential super-spreader event. This is dangerous. This risks lives. And it risks the progress our City has made in bending the curve and stopping the spread. This is unacceptable. 

“As Mardi Gras approaches, we call upon our residents, our business owners, and our guests, to be vigilant. Large gatherings spread COVID, and COVID kills people. We’ve lost nearly 700 of our sisters and brothers already. Don’t be part of making that worse.

“The City will take a hard look at what happened on Bourbon this weekend, and pursue appropriate action wherever possible. This cannot be strictly a punitive response — this is not ‘us vs. them’. This matters to ALL of us. This pandemic threatens all of us. And all of us must have a stake in suppressing the spread.”

Beau Tidwell

Director of Communications | Office of Mayor LaToya Cantrell

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