While the rest of the state appears poised to move into Phase Two on Friday, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell today announced in a statement that Orleans Parish will remain under its current Phase One reopening guidelines beyond June 5.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today (Monday, June 1) that he will sign an order on to move the state into Phase Two, which will allow many businesses to increase their capacity to 50 percent in addition to opening some businesses at 25 percent remained closed under Phase One.

New Orleans will not be making the same moves, however.

“Orleans Parish will not move into Phase Two this Friday. As we have said throughout this pandemic: we are watching the data, not the date. We don’t yet have sufficient data to authorize opening up further at this point,” said Mayor Cantrell.

Orleans was an epicenter of the initial COVID-19 outbreak, and its communities were disproportionately impacted by the fatalities that resulted. Local and national public health officials believe additional time and data is required following the “Phase 1” opening date and mass gatherings in recent weeks, before Orleans can safely move forward to Phase Two, according to the statement released by the Mayor’s Office.

The Mayor’s statement continued, “All of our decisions must be grounded in science and guided by the bedrock of public health: keeping our people safe. We look forward to the return of visitors — but for that to happen, we have to be able to ensure New Orleans is the safest city to come to. That means being deliberate, and waiting until we have two to three weeks of additional data and the full confidence of our public health officials that restrictions can be further eased in a safe way.”

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