New Orleans business owners react to mask advisory

Local

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — As covid cases spike in Louisiana, New Orleans leaders are expressing their concerns about the Delta variant.

“It is and has caused us to not only hone in on it, but to come before the public and strongly putting in place an indoor mask advisory,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

The advisory isn’t mandatory, so local businesses are faced with making a decision.

“What we’ve decided to do is ask our staff to wear masks, but I’m not forcing it upon the customers who come in, because I believe it’s a personal decision. It’s a personal right and responsibility to make that decision, and I’m not going to force people to do something they don’t want to do,” said Brian Mullin.

While Mullin, owner of Local 718 on Bourbon Street, is leaving the choice to customers, other business owners across the city are making it mandatory.

“It’s very uncomfortable in 109 degree weather, but it’s worse if you get sick and die,” said David Zalkind.

Zalkind owns Frenchmen Art and Books, and he says masking up is so important that he’s offering customers a unique deal.

“If they buy a mask, we’ll refund it for any purchase that they make here. We actually have increased our business as a result of this,” said Zalkind.

Locals also told us how they feel about the latest mask advisory.

“Now with the Delta virus, I can see the trend going up on the graphs and I think we need to start wearing them again,” said Chloe Brown, a New Orleans resident.

“Do everything you possibly can to not get infected and not get sick. So, if a mask if what you have to wear, that’s not asking for too much,” said Jamal Peters, a New Orleans resident.

Mayor Cantrell says she and her team will continue to follow the covid data to make decisions on possible mandates in the future.

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