City Council members react to mayor’s vaccine mandate

Published: Aug. 14, 2021 at 12:48 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Starting Monday, Aug. 16, bars and restaurants, and other businesses and venues in New Orleans will require proof that their patrons are vaccinated, in the process of being vaccinated, or are currently uninfected by COVID-19.

As business owners voice concerns about how they will enforce the rules, many say they know something has to be done, and believe this is better than a shutdown.

“The initial speed bump being you have to show it. How do we make sure that we have proper information?” asked Debra Schumacher, who owns Slim Goodies Diner on Magazine Street.

“And we have to believe people, we have to place a certain amount of trust in there. Not only with the LA Wallet app but also a COVID test within the last 72 hours? How do I know if they wrote that paper or not? I have no way of knowing that.”

“I hate the fact that we have to do this,” said City Council member Jay Banks.

“But until individuals stand up and live up to their, not only personal responsibility but the responsibility of all the other human beings around, and get vaccinated, we’re in this position.”

Kristen Gisleson Palmer represents “District C” on City Council which includes the French Quarter.

Those businesses in particular deal are tourist-dependent and could have a tougher time getting customers to follow the rules.

They also risk losing business from those who refuse to get vaccinated.

“I absolutely sympathize with businesses, especially in the hospitality industry. I mean that’s a really hard role to be put into,” said Gisleson Palmer.

Officials with the city’s Department of Health say right now most of the hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New Orleans are unvaccinated and from other parishes.

So beginning this week, City Council members are asking residents, and anyone who plans to visit, to please comply with the new mandate.

“We are actually making people who have done things the right way more sick because our hospitals are filling up with people from outside of the parish,” said Gisleson Palmer.

“When you have people in your life that die or get very sick or you yourself get to that point where you get very very sick, trust me you’ll be on that TV saying ‘hey man don’t be like me, get a shot’,” said Banks.

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