The city of New Orleans will transition to Phase 3.3 of its Safe Reopening Plan on Wednesday, Nov. 11, bringing local restrictions more in line with the state’s Phase 3 guideline.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell made the announcement at a press conference Monday (Nov. 9) during which she also expressed her frustration over a large, unpermitted gathering in the French Quarter for a Christian concert, where attendees were unmasked and not practicing social distancing.
New changes in Phase 3.3 include increased gathering sizes and indoor seating for bars and breweries:
- Indoor gatherings (like weddings and funerals) will now be allowed to have a maximum of 100 people who are masked and socially distanced.
- Outdoor gatherings (like weddings and funerals) will now be allowed to have a maximum of 150 people who are masked and socially distanced.
- Bars and breweries will now be allowed to have 25 percent of indoor seating capacity with a maximum of 50 individuals and 100 percent of outdoor seating capacity with a maximum of 50 individuals, all of whom must be masked and socially distanced.
Some additional changes were made to restrictions on trade shows, conferences, carriage tours, and adult performance venues. Additionally, the Department of Safety and Permits and the New Orleans Health Department have created new guidelines for special events and live entertainment along with an easier process for seeking approval, which will be made available Wednesday.
Phase 3.3 details are available at ready.nola.gov/reopening.
Free Drive-Thru and Walk-Up Testing Continues
As officials loosen restrictions on gatherings, they are also ramping up testing and precaution measures. Free drive-thru and walk-up testing sites continue to be available in Orleans Parish daily with various partners including the Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana Department of Health, LCMC Health, and CORE Response, among others. Times and locations are listed at ready.nola.gov/mobile-testing.
All sites are open to anyone who is concerned about COVID-19 exposure.
Drive-thru sites are now using a new registration system, which can be accessed at health.questdiagnostics.com/STLOU. Pre-registration is available but not required.
Preparing for a Vaccine
The city of New Orleans has launched a COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy Working Group as a part of the Mayor’s COVID-19 Advisory Panel. This group will assist in planning the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine by traditional healthcare providers, local businesses and organizations, and through community-based sites.
When COVID-19 vaccines become available, New Orleanians will be prioritized by age, pre-existing medical conditions, and occupation according to CDC guidelines, according to city officials.