Many businesses returning to full capacity Friday

Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 8:15 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Beginning Friday, businesses in New Orleans will be able to operate at full capacity for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

City leaders continue to urge people to exercise caution as case numbers remain low.

New Orleans is currently experiencing about 19 new cases a day and for shop, bars and restaurant owners they will no longer be required to turn anyone away due to capacity requirements.

Most businesses can now operate at 100 percent in Orleans Parish. The exception is for gyms and stadiums which will stay at 50 percent capacity since they’re at a higher risk to spread the virus.

City leaders say they are making their decision based on the data which shows New Orleans with a very low 0.8 percent positivity rate.

They say 35 percent of residents have been fully vaccinated and 43 percent have at least received their first dose.

Also, large gatherings, such as weddings or conferences, can allow 500 people outdoors and 250 people indoors as long as people maintain guidelines including wearing a mask.

Mayor Latoya Cantrell and Dr. Jennifer Avegno says they are moving slowly back to the days before the pandemic but they urge residents and visitors to continue to use caution and follow safety guidelines.

“We’re waiting to create a level of balance while we’re doing well and continue on that path,” says Cantrell.

“I can not stress enough that masking, distancing and vaccinating, the three together are most important things everyone can do to keep us moving forward in New Orleans,” says Dr. Avegno.

Avegno says Louisiana continues to rank among the highest in variant cases and lowest in vaccinations, so while they are happy to ease restrictions, their urging people to continue to follow safety guidelines to prevent another surge.

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