New Orleans could move into Phase 2 early next week

COVID-19 Mobile Testing in New Orleans East

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans could move into Phase 2 of the coronavirus recovery plan as early as next week, according to the city’s health director.

Dr. Jennifer Avengo said Wednesday that Mayor LaToya Cantrell could follow the state into the next phase with some minor differences.

Avengo said that if the city stays on pace with testing and recovery, the transition could start as early as Monday.

Earlier in the week, Avegno also said New Orleanians will be wearing masks and practicing social distancing for a long time and that is something that has to be taken into account for Phase 2 plans.

“Phase 1 taught us that we did a good job when it comes to flattening the curve and staying in, and the data allowed us to consider opening up and relieving some of the restrictions,” said health educator Dr. Eric Griggs.

New Orleans has maintained stricter rules then neighboring parishes and the state during Phase 1.

Avengo did not specify what changes might be different than the state’s move to Phase 2.

She said the city is prepared for weather events, like Cristobal, but it is unclear how that could impact the timeline of recovery.

Under Phase 2, bars and breweries without an LDH food permit are allowed to reopen at 25% capacity. Spas, massage establishments, tattoo parlors, bowling alleys, arcades, trampoline parks, and event centers are also able to reopen in Phase 2. Restaurants, stores, and other businesses that have been operating at 25% capacity will be able to operate at 50% capacity in Phase 2.

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