NEW ORLEANS – The city of New Orleans is moving into the next phase of re-opening this Saturday! The next phase includes expanding capacity limits at places like churches and sporting events.
After two consistent weeks of COVID-19 cases trending in the right direction, Mayor Cantrell has given New Orleans the green light to move into phase 3.2 this Saturday at 6 AM. This means bars can reopen under the Department of Health guidelines: outdoor seating at 25% capacity or 50 guests, whichever is less. Churches can hold up to 500 people or 50% capacity- whichever is fewer.
“As a pastor, it’s a very exciting time to welcome more people back home,” said the pastor of Corpus Christi-Epiphany, Father Henry Davis. “Of course, they would like to have more spaces but I think, always side on caution rather than to go full-blown 100% capacity because we still have to keep our distance from each other.”
Some residents aren’t so optimistic about the eased restrictions. Outdoor sporting events can have up to 500 people or 25% capacity, whichever is fewer. These guidelines won’t allow the thousands of fans to gather in watching the 101-year rivalry game between Jesuit and Holy Cross – it’s been relocated to Strawberry Stadium.
“It seems to me that it’s been played at [the same place] for forever. But to have to move this game- I don’t know, it’s a shame that other people have agendas,” Holy Cross football head coach Nick Saltaformaggio told WGNO. “Holy Cross and Jesuit have been an important game in this city and we’re gonna play it in Hammond.”
Despite the frustration, Father Davis is hopeful the city will be back to normalcy one step at a time.
“We’re all in this together no matter who we are, no matter what part of the faith we celebrate. Let’s work together and get through this virus,” Davis said.
Phase 3.3 could go into effect as soon as October 31, 2020.