New Orleans mayor to announce plans to fight virus surge
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans officials are set to announce plans Wednesday to address a sharp rise in coronavirus infections in the city.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the city’s top health official, Dr. Jennifer Avegno, were expected to make an announcement Wednesday afternoon. On Tuesday, Cantrell spokesman Beau Tidwell said “all options are on the table.”
The seven-day average of new cases reported daily in New Orleans has jumped to 99, up from 11 two weeks ago. Tidwell said Tuesday that vaccinations are the key to stopping the spread, which is fueled by the highly contagious delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Restrictions on gatherings and mask requirements had been greatly eased in recent months, as vaccines became widely available.
New Orleans had been a Southern hot spot for COVID-19 early in 2020. Mitigation measures saw the city shut down bars, dine-in restaurants and numerous other businesses vital to the tourist-driven economy. Restrictions spilled over into this year, when major Mardi Gras events were canceled. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which was canceled in 2020, this year was postponed from its usual spring dates until this fall.