Mayor Cantrell calls the COVID-19 situation dire in announcing proof of vaccination requirement

New rules take effect August 16
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 10:55 PM CDT
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Mayor Latoya Cantrell announces proof of vaccination will be needed to enter some New Orleans...
Mayor Latoya Cantrell announces proof of vaccination will be needed to enter some New Orleans businesses.(Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Given the grip the highly contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus has on Louisiana, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell says she has no choice but to require more restrictions to protect the city’s residents, businesses, and the economy.

Cantrell announced that starting on Monday people wanting to enter certain businesses in the city will need to show proof that they have taken a vaccine shot or show a recent negative COVID-19 test.

“The situation is dire and we are simply out of time. The current COVID-19 outbreak is extremely severe, you all know this. It is overtaxing our health care resources and pushing our hospitals and our first responders who have been relentless and on the ground every step of the way for approaching 18 months, our people are at the brink, we have to take action to protect our people and to protect our economy,” said Cantrell.

Anyone 12 and older are subjected to the new rules.

“Effective Monday, August 16 all individuals who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine must provide evidence of having received at least one dose of a vaccine or evidence of a negative test taken no more than 72 hours prior to entering certain establishments,” said New Orleans Health Department Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno.

Such proof will be needed to enter places like restaurants, bars, breweries, gyms, indoor sports complexes including the Superdome, and casinos.

“So, when you remove a mask to eat and drink you remove a layer of protection that is critical right now. Indoor activities particularly in spaces that have poor ventilation, windows that can’t be opened are riskier than outdoors. Larger group sizes mean more people get infected,” said Avegno.

THE mandate also applies to outdoor events of more than 500 people, if the total attendance is more than 50% of the venue’s occupancy. “We have to give our first responders, our hospitals the relief that we need and that they need,” said Cantrell.

And Avegno does not consider the new requirements to be onerous given the health crisis.

“You know what’s drastic is a two week old hospitalized or a 12-year-old on a ventilator who could have been vaccinated on a ventilator, so having a piece of paper or having something on your phone, you know, I don’t mean to laugh to make fun of it but that’s not drastic, that is really sort of a basic thing that we can do,” she said.

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