NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The state is easing restrictions as more people head outside to businesses this weekend. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell stressed the stay-at-home order is still in place.
The city has outlined its phases for reopening.
Orleans Parish has almost 6,500 cases and more than 430 deaths caused by COVID-19 as of Friday (May 1).
“Protecting public health and safety will continue to drive the City of New Orleans’ response to COVID-19. With sustained low case numbers, ramped up testing, and other key milestones, the City may begin to ease restrictions in phases,” the city said in a statement. “This will be done gradually, intentionally, and based on data that weighs potential benefits against the threat to our community, especially our most vulnerable residents.”
The mayor said it is possible the city could go through several waves of outbreaks.
CITY OF NEW ORLEANS: View COVID-19 Data Dashboard
“Specific public health milestones must be met before the City will begin to ease restrictions and progress from one phase to another. If these criteria are not met or if there is a spike in cases or deaths, it may be necessary to move back to stricter measures,” the city’s website said about reopening.
Sustained trend of low and declining new cases
Supplies, staffing, and lab capacity to consistently test 4 to 5% of the population each month
Robust contact tracing, monitoring, and isolation capacity to rapidly isolate new cases and their close contacts
Healthcare system with adequate capacity to treat both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients without requiring surge capacity, including staffing, facilities, PPE, and equipment
The City of New Orleans’ phases for a safe reopening:
Mayor Cantrell’s Stay Home Order is in effect through at least May 15. Residents are mandated to stay home except for essential needs. When criteria are met, the City may ease restrictions and progress to phase one.
Phase one will ease the Stay Home Order and restrictions on some low-risk operations, while implementing limits on occupancy, social distancing measures, and requirements for personal protective equipment. Sector-specific guidelines will be in place to ensure safe operations. High-risk residents, like seniors and people with serious medical conditions should continue to stay home. People who can effectively work from home should continue to do so. When criteria are met, the City may ease restrictions and progress to phase two.
Phase two will ease restrictions on medium risk operations, while continuing limits on occupancy, social distancing measures, and requirements for personal protective equipment. Sector-specific guidelines will be in place to ensure safe operations. Large gatherings will continue to be prohibited due to the significant risk of rapid spread through groups. High-risk residents, like seniors and people with serious medical conditions should continue to stay home. When criteria are met, the City may ease restrictions and progress to phase three.
Phase three will occur with a vaccine or widespread immunity in the population. It will largely resemble pre-COVID-19 life, although some restrictions may remain necessary.